Liverpool Sound Collage - Liverpool Sound Collage

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Hydra/EMI
Catalog Number: 24352 88172
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:24:00

Of all the surviving Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney is probably the only one whose feet are firmly planted into today's music industry. Sir Paul released two albums under the pseudonym of The Fireman, albums where he did experiment a lot with ambient, loops and sequencers. Having just released his very own art exhibition he suddenly was given the ideal chance to combine both the art and the musical experiment by means of Liverpool Sound Collage, a tribute if you like to Peter Blake, better known as the designer of the famous Sgt. Pepper's sleeve.

Peter Blake - About CollagePaul McCartney's Liverpool Sound Collage was created by request as the new soundtrack for About Collage, Peter Blake's exhibition at the Tate Liverpool. Extending the medium beyond its traditional visual form, Paul McCartney collated elements for his collage on the streets of Liverpool, where he interviewed astonished shoppers and passersby on his tape recorder. The locally recorded elements range from snatches of chat with students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and background for the soundcheck for Paul's headline-making return concert at the Cavern, to extracts from the Liverpool Oratorio, the sound of the Mersey and comments from "the lady who gets me my chips when I'm back in Liverpool." The sound collage is a collaboration between Sir Paul McCartney, Super Furry Animals and Youth and also includes fragments of interviews and chats with George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon recorded between 1965 and 1969. McCartney recorded various sounds, Cian Ciaran from Super Furry Animals mixed it, whilst Youth (known from his great work with Killing Joke, but also on the symphonic work of Pink Floyd, to name but two of his collaborations), added a final touch.

Collage is an art form in which compositions are made of pieces of paper, cloth, photographs, etc? pasted on a dry ground; any collection of unrelated things. It's especially the latter which is very appropriate to the work on this disc. The seperate elements don't mean a thing yet it's the way in which the various parts fit together like a jigsaw which makes this experiment worthwhile. Mind you, this is not your average listening pleasure as you'll probably only give it a spin once or twice as it probably works better as an actual soundtrack when you visit the actual exhibition.

It's not the first time the Beatles have tried their hand at a musical collage. If you're not familiar with the various X-mas flexis, then you definately know ?Revolution #9? as compiled by Lennon and Ono. But prior to that happening, McCartney had already created an abstract soundtrack to the film Carnival Of Light in 1967. A year before he would hang out with John and Miles Dunbar at the Indica Gallery and started investigating the work of Carl Heinz Stockhausen and John Cage. Today Macca has teamed up with Super Furry Animals and Youth in order to create a contemporary audio canvas which at times holds the balance between The Orb and Faust. It's fascinating to hear what technology can do as one minute you hear Macca talking about his 1999 Cavern gig whilst fragments later he turns the clock back thirty years saying ?Hold on, John's just broken a string."

Peter Blake - About Collage (back cover)During the track ?Peter Blake 2000? Cian Ciaran manipulates a loop that's impossible to understand once it's sped up, but clearly reveals the name Liverpool once it slows down to normal level. The drums set in, whilst a voice goes on and on, chanting ?free now? which later pops up again in an edited version and, if my mind serves me right, was even issued as a single (at least a promo exists). Being responsible for the production of Us And Them - The Symphonic Music Of Pink Floyd it makes sense that Youth would introduce classical snippets of music within ?Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now? adding a true Orb-like title if ever I heard one. Plenty of electronic gadgets are introduced as well, whilst the dub goes on and on. It's where early Can, Neu, Cluster (Youth once worked with veteran producer Conny Plank!) and Kraftwerk get under the varnish of the rock tradition to enter the chill-out world. Unissued Beatles talk is scattered all over the album, being manipulated, switched into overload but still of interest to Beatles collectors because of their unavailability before.

So from now on it's not only Yoko Ono who will be remembered for her fair share of avant-garde. Only time will tell whether Liverpool Sound Collage will find its place next to Two Virgins and The Wedding Album. "And all because the lady likes ? vegetarian!" Art for art's sake!

Released in the US by Capitol/EMI (C2-28817) [See also exhibits - ed.]

Plastic Beetle (8:22) / Peter Blake 2000 (16:54) / Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now (16:37) / Made Up (12:57) / Free Now (3:28)

Paul McCartney - loops, effects, weirdness, collage

Liverpool Sound Collage (2000)

Genre: Other

Origin UK

Added: January 1st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 735
Language: english


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