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Over and Thru the Night (A 10-Year Restrospective 1980 - 1987)

Steve Fisk

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While 448 Deathless Days had been his formal solo vinyl debut, Fisk had released a series of cassettes via K and other labels throughout the '80s. Over and Thru the Night cherry-picks them for a fine sampling of his rougher beginnings, exhibiting all the fun and off-kilter sonics of his later work with slightly less crisp recording quality. The opening track, "I Wish I Were Dead," is a masterpiece in and of itself, a sampling of some old cartoon character weeping, sneezing, and crying out the title phrase, looped over and over with maudlin violin music playing along. It's simple enough yet utterly harrowing as well as goofy, as perfect a demonstration of Fisk's ear for sonic tweaking as one could want. From there the collection skips about without regard to chronology, though most of the tracks come from 1985 and 1986. Some feature side performers from Pell Mell, the Screaming Trees, and others, but mostly this is Fisk on his own, freaking out just so. Most of the songs utilize a random vocal snippet from a movie, broadcast, or other source at the core, sometimes looped (like the introductory voice on "One More Valley"), sometimes left to run along as the music groans, moans, and swirls around it. Evangelists and general ranters are recurring tropes — even Ronald Reagan — with the combination of their usual fervor and the music's often creepy moods making for gripping results. Hints of Fisk's varying musical obsessions crop up again and again — motorik/Krautrock trance drums, dub's deep, slow crawl, slamming hip-hop breaks — stewed into a weird, unsettling combination. One of his most hilarious moments is none other than the Beatles' "Taxman," sampling and looping the original recording while adding extra drones, slowed voices, and other effects — it's one of the best remixes around.

Biographie

Genre : Alternative

Années d’activité : '90s, '00s

Few figures exerted greater influence over the contemporary Pacific Northwest indie music scene than Steve Fisk — while a veteran of bands including Pell Mell and Pigeonhed, he earned his greatest renown as a producer, helming sessions for acts including Nirvana, the Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and Beat Happening. Already a veteran of countless short-lived bands by the time he made his solo debut in 1980 with contributions to the compilations Sub Pop 5 and Life Elsewhere, in 1985 Fisk resurfaced...
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Over and Thru the Night (A 10-Year Restrospective 1980 - 1987), Steve Fisk
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