Bill Rieflin


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Largo is the realization of a project first imagined in 1990. Since then, Chris Connelly and Bill Rieflin have collaborated on 15 albums together, and have been in part responsible for some of industrial's finest moments and critical experiments, including Pigface, the Revolting Cocks, and Ministry. On Largo, Connelly and Rieflin maintain the experimental impulse of a genre they helped to define (many songs, for example, have no repeating parts), even as they eschew the electronic noise and found sounds often identified with the genre to favor instead the broad, slow sound suggested by the album's title. The result is an album much more reminiscent of their work together on the Bells and Chris Connelly's solo albums than their more industrial collaborations. "Salt of Joy," a song that first appeared on Connelly's 1991 solo album Whiplash Boychild as the "Last of Joy," is representative of Largo's progression from even this earlier work together. "Salt of Joy" eliminates the electronic interference of the original and the conspicuously processed vocals, leaving the emphasis instead on the rich beauty of Connelly's voice. Where there was static interference, there is now the sound of Reiflin's piano, subtly punctuated by the interaction of instrument and body as feet are heard manipulating the piano's pedals. Although ranging from sleepy and somber to melancholy and downright playful, Largo is always sparse, intense, and beautiful. While it maintains a rigorous focus on Connelly's voice and Rieflin's spacious keyboards, much of Largo is complemented by lush string arrangements and acoustic guitar. The resulting album is perfect accompaniment for Sunday afternoon brooding. Although listeners new to Connelly's voice, which critics have often compared to Bowie's, may find it irritating and discordant at first and in certain places, it'll be clear on repeated listens that it is always appropriate to his poetic narratives. Largo is a fantastic addition to Rieflin and Connelly's work together, and a poignant reminder that the industrial movement was a revolution in both form and content.

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