Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reissue: Eno and Fripp - No Pussyfooting

No Pussyfooting is one of those records that isn't exactly an easy listen. For one, the only two tracks on it, "The Heavenly Music Corporation" and "Swastika Girls", each clock in at around twenty minutes. For another, it's one of the seminal pieces of ambient electronica, and as such may not exactly appeal to those who are looking for melody and structured composition in their music.

Still, when given proper attention, the record opens up to reveal a world of textures and melody that aren't apparent at first listen. Fripp's pioneering "Frippertronics" make their notable debut here, and the usage is fantastic. The lead melodies surge and sway enough to make the listener think that there are a slew of synthesizers shaping the music. Meanwhile, Eno's background textures serve as a foundation that Fripp continually builds upon over time.

For a record that at first glance has no melodies, repeated listens turn it into a remarkably melodic affair. As one familiarizes themselves with the swells of Fripp's guitar, the expectation for their appearance becomes second nature. Seemingly random synth lines turn into mini-symphonic masterpieces, and long deep drones lose the quality of seeming endless. Instead, the drones' termination becomes expected and sensible exactly where it is. It is music that demands attention and time, and once given as much, rewards the listener with an unparalleled sonic landscape. Suffice it to say, we're big fans of the record.

For us here at HAD, the truly exciting news is that No Pussyfighting (along with the second Fripp/Eno disc Evening Star) has been remastered for release as a two disc set. The second disc contains half speed and reversed versions of the original album tracks, all overseen by Fripp himself. For a record that is inherently ambient and abstract, these "redux" versions (apparently inspired by an accidental reversal of one of the tracks by the BBC) allow for a listener already familiar with the originals to take on the very same material in a wholly new and challenging way. And, for those who maybe haven't heard the originals, well - the sky's the limit.

The Eno/Fripp reissues go on sale today.


Benjo said...

Damn, you guys never underwhelm with your tastes.

Thanks for the heads up...I hadn't seen this elsewhere.