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Reading Ian’s time-traveling essay on Joy Division’s CLOSER, I’m asking myself what is the reason that sometimes you do not return to certain records you have once liked very much for a very, very long time. For example, I was deeply impressed by that album (I even remember asking me why they hadn’t put their most famous song on it), but I haven’t heard it since, well, let’s say, 1988. This happened to other records I adored or even loved: Soft Machine’s THIRD (a milestone, my first encounter with Robert Wyatt, and one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, Moon in June), Al Stewart’s famous album (what was the title?), Gustav Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO.3 (conducted by Georg Solti, by the way, Ian:)), John Abercrombie’s TIMELESS,  the Kinks‘ MUSWELL HILLBILLIES etc etc.: haven’t heared these great works for ages. Well, Al Stewart may have been a guilty pleasure, a record for one or two seasons, but the other ones: soul food, more than 5-star albums, revelations, but, after they seem to have had their time, no constant companions, on the surface. Maybe you take certain albums with you, and transport them to a well-searched place in the hinterland of your mind, where they do their quiet, but unconscious work! At this moment my old time favourite Jackson Browne album springs to mind (and is sharing the famous collection of long time buried treasures): LATE FOR THE SKY.



Is it, possibly, too late for the sky? Pure coincidence, but I just read about a new record of the group British Sea Power. i’ve never been particularly fond of their music, but I’m a big fan of the British coast, especially of the South (there i have been, in Blackpool and Brighton, in Dorset (where the excellent new English crime series BROADCHURCH has found its surroundings), and on the coastal path of Cornwall. Now BSP have released their soundtrack for the documentary FROM THE SEA TO THE LAND BEYOND that seems to assemble old footage for a (in big parts at least black-and-white) portrait of the coastlines of Old Britannia. „Sometimes the sextet can be too ambitious, but this soundtrack to Penny Woolcock’s film about the history of Britain’s coastline from 1901 to the present day is BSP at their most haunting and restrained.“ Okay then, alone for the topic of the film, I will carefully listen to the music and watch the movie with big eyes. It’s the same thing as with my collection of once beloved albums: I haven’t been there for too long. I travelled the Coastal Path in 1997, I bought TIME OUT OF MIND in Portsmouth, I walked on the beaches of Dorset in 1990 or 1991 (on that same journey, I met Brian in his old home in Maida Vale, just before the birth of his youngest daughter, and did my first imterview with Robert Wyatt, the theme: DONDESTAN. I’m so grateful, I still keep returning to this record once in a while, and it has as special topic too, the lonely atmosphere of a Spanish coastline, ha!). One thing is for sure: I have just ordered a copy of CLOSER, I will go back to some of these wild places in my mind. Into the wilderness.

„On this occasion, for this listener, that is Scottish sea birds, walking home in the dark after dinner at the Ship Inn with a new love; waking to sea air, and running across East Sands in the morning. Listening to the gales, escaping the towns, and reading Fitzgerald books in summer, one page especially apt: “… The orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”“


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