Putting under the lens only a unique release and claiming to draw a circle around a key artist as Arthur Russell might look like an unrealistic attempt. That doesn't matter anyway. Under the belief that footlights should be always shining on every new single facet around a such so figure, every bright retrieval from his discography, - even after seventeen years since his premature death, - that should be warmly welcome, like the discovery of a new tile for a polyvalent and complex mosaic. The american cellist, during the 80s, brought his skills touching avant-garde, disco music (his greatest passion), pop, the earliest house music, and the embryonic matter of what hip-hop will become later, - accompanied by excellent contributors as David Byrne, Philp Glass, Nicky Staino and, among all, William Burroughs. Through The Sleeping Bag Sessions, Arthur Russell's legacy takes a different perspective: the Sleeping Bag was infact the record label he founded in 1981 together with Will Socolov, making room in their roster for several artists albeit it featured also a plethora of projects having a direct reference with Russel himself (Mantronix, Cash Money & Marvelous, EPMD and Just-Ice), also memorable for his seminal live act in the scene of NYC during the 80s, - that gave him the chance to explore rising (and breaking free) sounds, like, as said, hip-hop, disco, and proto-house. This new release focuses on a different face of his discography, that is the one around Russel as a producer, remixer, and editor.. A complete artist. The featured tracks are an intense and essential snapshot of Arthur Russell's life and nature, - a sort of funk-disco catharsis, in opposition with the introversion that always caractherized his work.
For sure, The Sleeping Bag Sessions is not exactly the right piece of record to enter Arthur Russell's world, - albeit there's no doubt this is sufficient to stimulate listeners' curiosity. For those who are particularly interested in disco|hip-hop|house and whatever, - this release represents an excellent chance to enrich oneself's collection with an eclectic title, - genius and genuinely standing out of the crowd.
(11/04/2009 13:41:00 - ip: 84.221...)
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