Review used by kind permission of Audika Records; http://www.audikarecords.com/russell_7.html . 'Double pack CD with an all instrumental compilation including the long out of print 'Instrumentals' Volume 2 and Tower Of Meaning with over 45 minutes of previously unreleased material.
Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, 'Instrumentals' was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured here live in New York at The Kitchen and Franklin St. Arts Center include the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Dave Van Tiegham, and Peter Zummo.
'Reach One' is one of Arthur's earliest compositions dating back to 1973. The hypnotic soundscape was written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos.
One of the holy grails in Arthur's discography, 'Tower Of Meaning' is a beautiful and stunningly moving orchestral work. Conducted by the late Julius Eastman, 'Tower Of Meaning' was originally released in a limited private edition of only 320 copies.
'Sketch For The Face Of Helen' shares only the same title as the previously released excerpt from 1981 and is totally different. The version here clocks in just under ten minutes with Arthur using an electronic tone generator, keyboard, and an ambient recording of a rumbling tugboat.
'FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT' is an essential collection of the lost instrumental treasures from Arthur's vast archive and brings the genius of Arthur Russell's legacy closer into focus. Packaged with a 16 page color booklet + O-card of archival images and essays by former Modern Lover Ernie Brooks and Audika's Steve Knutson'. Tracks: Disc One:
'Instrumentals' Volume 1 (previously unreleased)
'Instrumentals' Volume 2
Reach One (previously unreleased)
Tower Of Meaning
Sketch For The Face Of Helen (previously unreleased)Big Tip!