Black Foliage: Animation Music, Vol. 1

Black Foliage: Animation Music, Vol. 1

by Olivia Tremor Control
     
 

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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

Overview

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.]

Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2011
Label:
Cloud Recordings
UPC:
0656605651620
catalogNumber:
56516

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Opening
  2. A Peculiar Noise Called "Train Director"
  3. Combinations
  4. Hideaway
  5. Black Foliage (Animation 1)
  6. Combinations
  7. The Sky is a Harpsichord Canvas
  8. A Sleepy Company
  9. Grass Canons
  10. A New Day
  11. Combinations
  12. Black Foliage (Animation 2)
  13. I Have Been Floated
  14. Paranormal Echoes
  15. Black Foliage (Animation 3)
  16. A Place We Have Been To
  17. Black Foliage (Itself)
  18. The Sylvan Screen
  19. The Bark and Below It
  20. Black Foliage (Animation 4)
  21. California Demise 3
  22. Looking For Quiet Seeds
  23. Combinations
  24. Mystery
  25. Another Set of Bees In the Museum
  26. Black Foliage (Animation 5)
  27. Hilltop Procession (Momentum Gaining)

Disc 2

  1. The Sky is a Harpsichord Canvas
  2. Beaker and Avalanche, Pt. 1
  3. Beaker and Avalanche, Pt. 2
  4. Combinations
  5. Can You Come Down With Us?
  6. A Sleepy Company
  7. Outside Explorations, Pt. 3
  8. European Son
  9. Glass Beard
  10. California Demise
  11. Grass Cannons
  12. Can You Come Down With Us?
  13. Hideaway
  14. A Peculiar Noise Called "Train Director"
  15. Grains and Sauces/Ice and Rings/Aqua Waters (And a Pear Shaped Thought)
  16. The Present Time/Seven Thousand Luminous Aches and Pains/The Dinner Plate

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
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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