Black Foliage: Animation Music, Vol. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
If the preceding Dusk at Cubist Castle was the Olivia Tremor Control's very own White Album, then the labyrinthine Black Foliage is their SMiLE -- it's an imploding masterpiece, a work teetering on the cliff's edge between genius and madness. Torn at the seams between pop transcendence and noise radicalism, the group attempts to have it both ways, meaning teenage symphonies to God like "A New Day" rest uneasily alongside musique concrète-styled tape pastiches such as "Combinations" (which, along with the similarly styled, multi-part title track, is one of the many sonic motifs snaking its way throughout the record). There are at least enough ideas for five albums here, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
If the preceding Dusk at Cubist Castle was the Olivia Tremor Control's very own White Album, then the labyrinthine Black Foliage is their SMiLE -- it's an imploding masterpiece, a work teetering on the cliff's edge between genius and madness. Torn at the seams between pop transcendence and noise radicalism, the group attempts to have it both ways, meaning teenage symphonies to God like "A New Day" rest uneasily alongside musique concrète-styled tape pastiches such as "Combinations" (which, along with the similarly styled, multi-part title track, is one of the many sonic motifs snaking its way throughout the record). There are at least enough ideas for five albums here, which is both Black Foliage's strength and its weakness -- it's impossible not to get lost inside of the OTC's swirling schizophrenia, and too often snatches of brilliance flash by too quickly to savor the moment. Moreover, with songs like "California Demise 3" continuing the oblique narrative running through previous OTC records, the artistic statement the record is making (and there undoubtedly is one) is impenetrable at best. Still, with each of the band's successive releases seeming like just part of a much bigger picture only now beginning to come into focus, maybe that's the point. Ultimately, Black Foliage just might be an end-of-the-millennium appeal that speaks directly and solely to the unconscious. [The record's 2011 reissue boasts over 70 minutes of Black Foliage outtakes and other OTC rarities that allow the band to stretch beyond the original recording's time constraints. A full version of "The Sky Is a Harpsichord Canvas" features vocals from Jeff Mangum mingling with musique concrète, while "Beaker and Avalanche, Pt. 1" adds layers of cascading keyboard to the album's music motifs. There are also a handful of live performances, mostly from Black Foliage -- "California Demise" live on NPR is a particularly rapturous moment -- but a 12-minute jam on Dusk at Cubist Castle's "Can You Come Down with Us?" and a take on the Velvet Underground's beautifully discordant "European Son" are delightful surprises. On the rarities front, tracks like "Glass Beard" and "Grains and Sauces/Ice and Rings/Aqua Waters" hint at the band's most experimental leanings as heard in alter-ego project Black Swan Network as well as frontman Will Cullen Hart's explorations to come with Circulatory System.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • Label: Cloud Recordings
  • UPC: 656605651620
  • Catalog Number: 56516
  • Sales rank: 56,836

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Olivia Tremor Control Primary Artist
Kevin Barnes Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Andy Gonzales Banjo
Jeff Mangum Percussion, Vocals, Melodica
Alex McManus Trombone
Robert Schneider Guitar, Vocals, Overdubs
Julian Koster Organ, Accordion, Vocals, Saw
Eric Harris Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Will Cullen Hart Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Drones, Group Member
Bill Doss Bass, Guitar, Glockenspiel, Vocals, Xylophone, Casio, Tibetan Bowls, Bugarabu, Group Member
Laura Carter Percussion, Vocals
John Fernandes Bass, Clarinet, Violin, Saxophone, Vocals, Group Member
Bryan Helium Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Josh McKay Vibes
Scott Spillane Trumpet, Euphonium, Sousaphone, Bugle
Pete Erchick Organ, Clarinet, Piano, Vocals, Group Member
Jeremy Barnes Percussion
John Dazzo Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Eric Ledford Cello
J. Kirk Pleasant Trombone
Robbie Cucchiaro Vocals
Kai Reidel Xylophone
Jennifer Olliff Vocals
Erin Rodriguez Vocals
Andrew Reiger Vocals
Technical Credits
John Cale Composer
Lou Reed Composer
Alan Douches Mastering
Sterling Morrison Composer
Moe Tucker Composer
Olivia Tremor Control Engineer
Jeff Mangum Sound Effects
Chris Bilheimer Layout
Eric Harris Engineer
Will Cullen Hart Paintings, Layout
Bill Doss Layout
Jesse Cannon Engineer
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