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La Variete

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Album Review

The airy arrangements and exotic rhythms throughout La Varieté sound like low-budget approximations of Antonio Carlos Jobim, although "A Life in the Day Of...Pt. 1 & 2" is a stab at African high life, and "Nostalgia" minus the vocals could be one of U2's early instrumental B-sides. In short, the album is nothing like what you would expect from former Young Marble Giants vocalist Alison Statton, excepting the song "Drum Beat for Baby," which mimics the unique sound of her previous band. Interestingly, Young Marble Giants' main man Stuart Moxham has nothing to do with that track, but he and his brother Phil contribute a couple of compositions, one of which is the Gist's "Carnival Headache." La Varieté is an impressive achievement, but is too stylistically diverse to make much sense, and at times the individual tracks seem like genre exercises. It's a bad sign that "Drum Beat for Baby," a deliberate stylistic throwback, is the strongest cut on the album. [Vinyl Japan's 2006 reissue adds a number of bonus tracks including three demos, a couple of 12-inch mixes and some single b-sides.]

Customer Reviews

A Must For Lovers of Slocore and Happy Minimalism

A simple and pure delight, a slightly more irreverent sequel to (vocalist) Alison Statton's work with the incomparable Young Marble Giants. La Variete blends YMG's ghostly, minimalist pop with simple, delicious echoing guitar harnonics that recall Duritti Column, and overlays the whole thing with a naive Brazillian influence; the result is gorgeous, appealing, near-naive pop that foreshadows Hugo Largo, Magnetic Fields, and Siggurros. A handful of tracks here -- "Nostalgia," "Red Planes" and "The End Of The Affair" -- resemble a slightly more luscious YMG, while other tracks remind us of a pure, clumsy funk that recalls early A Certain Ratio. A must for those investigating the roots of slo-core, and lovers of Rough Trade-era happy minimalism.


Formed: London, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s

Weekend was an immediate off-shoot of Young Marble Giants, the post-punk band known for their lone influential LP, Colossal Youth. Songwriter and guitarist Stuart Moxham formed the Gist, while singer Alison Statton formed the jazzier Weekend with Simon Booth. Spike joined the fold after Statton and Booth relocated from Cardiff to London. A trio of singles in 1982 was followed in November of that year with the full-length La Varieté. Live at Ronnie Scott's appeared the following year, with the band...
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La Variete, Weekend
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Customer Ratings