Morgan Fisher, one-time member of Mott the Hoople, was the "editor" of this string of 60 small pieces by as many artists, which add up to just 67 minutes. His capacity as editor entailed, according to his liner notes, having "remixed, edited and generally meddled with many of the tracks on this album," sequenced so that they segue between selections without break. There are so many styles and artists from all over the world involved that it really defies adequate summarization in the capsule review format. The artist roster looks rather what an index to the artier musicians covered by a few years of Option magazine would look like if that periodical was still publishing in 2000. John Paul Jones, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hugh Cornwell, Howard Jones (how'd he get in there?), Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, Michael Nyman, Robert Fripp, Dissidenten, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Michael Shrieve, Gavin Bryars, Jane Siberry, Lol Coxhill, Moondog, the Levellers, Trans Global Underground, and even the film director Jane Campion are among the more well-known names involved. Is it fun to listen to? Maybe not as much as it might sound, even to the super-open-minded listener. There's such a diversity of styles, from ambient and techno to world to experimental to edgy rock and jazz, plus more, that it's hard to imagine many people's tastes will extend to enthusiasm, or, at any rate, equal enthusiasm, for everything or even the majority of it. Unlike most compilations, it won't be that satisfying to just go to the tracks you like the most; they only last a minute before moving on to something else, sometimes something jarringly different in mood. For those who thrive on the all-music-is-one aesthetic, and the modernist cut-and-mix pastiche approach to music making, it may be a treat, like playing spin the dial between progressive community radio shows all over the world without having to actually spin the dial. But as concept and realization, it's trying to shove too much of a ship into a bottle.
Share this page