Asita Recordings

We like Pam Grier, Red Stripe, the sound and the smell of records, mixtapes,the SF Giants, analog synths, McCovey Cove, Lanikai at night, and San Francisco's indian summer.

Monday, February 12, 2007


An exciting discovery was made while wasting time scouring the for There is a documentary in the works reflecting on the life and music of Arthur Russell. For those unfamiliar, at the root of things Russell was an experimental cellist in NY. His music was an unorthodox mix of classical, dub, and even dance, all set to the glittering background the of NY in the 70's and 80's. When I say "dance" I don't mean the cheesy stuff we think of today, but rather more along the lines of "no wave," but with an disco back beat.

This is where the fascination began but hardly where it ended. The fact that he was also gay, originally from a small town in Iowa, that he was known for minimalist compositions ala John Cage, were also cause for intrigue. Sadly, like so many artists of his time, he was not fully recognized for his contributions until long after his death. Seek out his music. Soul Jazz released a nice collection of his work in handy compilation form.

"Arthur Russell died in obscurity of AIDS in 1992. Yet this New York composer was a true visionary, traversing dub, disco and Minimalism and anticipating the 90s obsession with musical hybrids. --David Toop, an A to Z of dub.

Arthur Russell was an avant-garde cellist active in the New York art scene of the late twentieth century. But next to his 'art music' activities, Russell was equally active in the New York club scene, writing dance music, after being introduced to it by Nicky Siano. As such he bridges the gap between art music and popular music. His tracks have been (re)mixed by such luminaries as Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, Nicky Siano and Francois Kevorkian. His best tracks are Loose Joints 'Is It All Over My Face', Dinosaur L 'Go Bang!' and Lola 'Wax The Van'.

"If Nick Drake had lived long enough to make records with New Order, they might have sounded something like this" (Rolling Stone , 2004)"

Check out the trailer or listen to the full length clip of "Another Thought." One of my favorites.

Arthur Russell Wiki


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