on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2017 14 Okt

The afterglow of a polyrhythmic celebration of life

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Less than two weeks ago from his review on Eno’s and Byrne’s milestone writing, Mark Moody was shocked about hearing the body of longtime progressive radio host Ray Taliaferro was discovered in the woods near Paducah, Kentucky.  Taliaferro was a pioneering black broadcaster and community leader in San Francisco starting in the late 60s.  Sadly, he suffered from dementia in his later years and went missing several weeks before his body was found. 

It’s hard not to think about Taliaferro wandering disoriented and alone when he was a lamp to so many in life.  For posterity though, his voice was captured in a much more vibrant moment as the first that is heard on Brian Eno and David Byrne’s collaboration, My Life In The Bush of Ghosts. The name of the track: „America Is Waiting“.

Over Byrne’s guitar scratch and Eno’s synths, Taliaferro intones “America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.”  A vocal clip that is almost forty years old comes through loud and clear surrounded by David Van Tiegham’s drumming and Bill Laswell’s bass work on top of the ominous swirl that Byrne and Eno have already set in motion. The relevance of further splices of Taliaferro’s broadcast and his railing on about “absolutely no integrity” rings as true today as ever and is one of many elements that makes Bush of Ghosts so timeless.  By including live musicians along with found sounds and vocals, no matter how minced up in places, the album has an organic feel and humanity about it that avoids any sense of being dated. Raw, fresh, wild. And all done, with an incredible commitment to detail, in analog times, with tons of tapes.

It’s hard to overstate the album’s importance on several levels.  This is the work of art that should be time capsuled and launched to alien worlds to show what possibilities can be achieved by the human heart and mind. To say that Eno and Byrne paved the way for a new wave of experimentalism and musical cross-pollination is a bit of an insult to what they engineered.  This is no two-lane country road that they paved, but rather the musical equivalent of a ten lane highway out of Pyongyang that they bravely raced across without regard for border and boundaries.  Even though not many other vehicles have utilized the breadth of this highway so completely only speaks to the enormity of what they built, not that the road wasn’t needed.


Mark Moody and Mana Remix

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