Tower Recordings

Furniture Music for Evening Shuttles

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This overlooked '90s New York ensemble spent the first half of the '90s producing some of the most intriguing homespun urban folk recordings of the decade, and released a string of albums that covered corrosive no wave noise, abstract tape experimentation, and inspired delicate melodic folk. The springboard for the sound they shape as their own is a mixture of ESP folk, British folk revival free jazz, and willful experimentation, and the elements make Furniture Music for Evening Shuttles a distinctive and compelling album. Obvious points of reference could be the '60s groups Pearls Before Swine and the Fugs, who had a knack of keeping exquisite songs at the core of their outward experimentation and chaotic group jamming. What makes this album so distinctive in the plethora of lo-fi underground releases is that Tower Recordings congealed eclectic ideas into a continuous whole and certainly had great ears for editing jams and experiments into cohesive pieces. Linking the diverse influences and historical references -- the work of Can, Sun Ra, and Sonic Youth spring to mind -- the overall sound is far from pastiche. A highly recommended album that will appeal to fans of grassroots N.Y.C. sound. The group was somewhat of an institution, which can be accredited to their frequent underground live shows that kept the spirit of the "happening" alive in the '90s. Group members P.G. Six and Matthew Valentine have also made excellent solo albums.

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