The idea here is to note down thoughts about some of what I've been listening to lately. (N.B.: this is completely different to Ben's posts where he notes down thoughts about some of what he's been listening to lately. For one thing, he has a pile of CDs whereas I quite clearly have a stack.) I plan to do this regularly, although it'll probably be superficial and sophomoric in the extreme. I should mention that the stack in the photo is several stack-generations old. Some stack members remain, others have been replaced, still others have joined separatist movements and have begun their own stacks elsewhere in the house.
Orpheus, The Lowdown by Peter Blegvad & Andy Partridge (2003) is actually a poor choice to start with as it is destined to remain aloof from the stack, packaged as it is in a kind of paperback-sized digipack. There's not a lot of conceptual packaging in the CD era, or the post-CD era, as I suppose we - if not specifically I - have now entered, and when it is attempted the results are usually pretty bad (see: Tool). Orpheus is an exception. There's a crispness and subtlety to the packaging - the elegant lyric booklet, the obliquely illustrative photograms - that perfectly complements the album's content.
Orpheus is a combination of spoken word and sound collages that occasionally threaten to turn into songs. It's detailed, deliberate music, and remarkably unified considering it was recorded over a thirteen year period; at the same time, each track is a discrete unit of intention and meaning, with little repetition of sounds or ideas. Overall, this is a sparse-feeling recording, Blegvad's deep voice enunciating over soundscapes that are occasionally bright but never colourful - the aural equivalent of a solarised image.