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Monday, May 1, 2017

Christian Marclay - "More Encores" Vinyl, 10", 33 1/3 (No Man's Land)

It took me forever, but I found a copy of Christian Marclay's "More Encores" at HMV Shibuya near Tokyu Hands in Tokyo.   I had this album on my computer which I played consistently, but it really makes sense to get the vinyl edition, because that is the medium for this album.   Each selection is devoted to one recording artist or composer.  Marclay takes recordings of these artists and cuts them up, sometimes from the same song, or a mix with another recording by that artist.  

"Johann Strauss" the first piece is maxi-waltz, using a recording of his waltz as the foundation.  Which in turn is what the whole album is about.  Marclay comments on the recordings as well as make it as a tribute to that composer.  "Martin Denny" is just as dreamy and strange as any other 'normal' recording of Denny's music.  Marclay just focuses on the beautiful touches of his music.  "Frederic Chopin" is rhythmic which is not one would think of Chopin's music - the melodies come first.  This is the most radical of his recordings here.  He truly makes Chopin in his own aesthetic. 

I find his aural artworks fascinating.  Especially if one is a fan of the vinyl record.  It takes an object that is very objective as the subject matter and turns it into a subjective instrument of expression.  DJ aesthetic, but Marclay also treats the music as a source or light to add his textures into the mix/piece.  The beauty of these recordings is that they very serve as a tribute or homage to these artists as well. "Arthur Ferrante & Louis Teicher" maybe weird, but it's not weirder than any Ferrante & Teicher recording.  It's like he's having a jam session with these artists, but not live, with their recordings. 
His "John Cage" is very rhythm orientated.   The original work I think is maybe the live radio pieces he did with David Toop, but I'm not sure, due that I didn't do any research on this before writing on it.  Just listen.   There is so much cultural music history here.  "Maria Callas" is beautiful.  The textural layers of her voice fit perfectly under the turntable skills of Marclay.  Released in 1989, this is very much an essential album for me to go back to again and again.