on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2011 19 Nov

The Unthanks und die Songs von Robert Wyatt und Antony Hegarty

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

On November 28th, The Unthanks release The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons, Live from The Union Chapel (Diversions Vol 1.) Amongst the first to hear the record is Robert Wyatt himself, who makes the following extraordinary statement:

“Quite simply, Antony & The Johnsons and I have been blessed by angels. If I had to take a single summary of what Alfie and I have being doing over the years to the proverbial desert island I wouldn’t take one of our own records. I’d take the crystal clear interpretations of The Unthanks.” Robert Wyatt

(Roberts Soloalben gehören schon eher auf die sprichwörtliche einsame Wüsteninsel, aber vielleicht ist er einfach dem Charme der Unthanks erlegen; allerdings wäre ich an diesem feinen Londoner Konzertort gerne gewesen, an dem Abend, als die Schwestern Unthank ihre Versionen der Lieder dieser unvergleichlichen Songpoeten, die noch dazu die traurigsten Stimmen der Welt ihr eigen nennen dürfen, zum besten  gaben; Anm. v. M.E.)

Celebrating two of the most adventurous songbooks of the last half-century, album is the first volume in what will be a series of Unthank albums called Diversions. The series is designed to capture anddocument a prolific twelve months which has been full of unique projects for the Mercury nominated Tynesiders; from their hugely successful collaboration with National Champions of Great Britain, Brighouse and Ratrick Brass Band, to a soundtrack performed live to a new film made from archive footage of Britain’s shipyards, to the Hegarty / Wyatt project celebrated here.

Having licensed their last 3 releases to EMI Records from RabbleRouser Music (owned by The Unthanks pianist, arranger and producer Adrian McNally), the Diversions series is released solely in the UK on RabbleRouser, while The Unthanks continue their relationship overseas with Rough Trade, who release the record in the rest of the world. The Unthanks are not necessarily done with the majors. New deals are on the table, but having reached the end of one contract, the band felt it an opportune moment to document these projects in a more low-key and homemade fashion, before considering their next move when they return with their 5th studio album proper.

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