Rus­sell makes a Red Hot re­turn

Arthur Rus­sell was a mu­si­cian ahead of his time – but his time may fi­nally have come

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET STUBS -

It may be time for an Arthur Rus­sell re­vival. Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Rus­sell is the lat­est al­bum in the Red Hot se­ries and fea­tures Hot Chip, Suf­jan Stevens, Robyn, Glen Hansard, José González, Blood Orange and oth­ers per­form­ing Rus­sell’s tunes.

Rus­sell (right) was the wide-eyed, clas­si­cally trained kid from Iowa who be­came a lead­ing fig­ure in New York’s down­town ex­per­i­men­tal and disco scenes. While he worked with Talk­ing Heads, Philip Glass, Allen Gins­berg and many more, what makes him so fas­ci­nat­ing is that his work crossed so many bound­aries.

Search his back-cat­a­logue and you’ll find fine ex­am­ples of avant-garde clas­si­cal, early house and disco and spine-tin­gling folk mu­sic. You can be sure acts such as LCD Soundsys­tem, Owen Pal­lett, Antony & The John­sons and Panda Bear have lent an ear over the years to his work


One of the rea­sons why Rus­sell has re­mained so un­her­alded is that most of his work only came to pub­lic no­tice after his death from Aids in 1992 at the age of 40. A pro­lific mu­si­cian in the stu­dio who left be­hind reels of mu­sic, Rus­sell wasn’t great at ac­tu­ally fin­ish­ing the work. Only one al­bum, World Of Echo (1986), was re­leased while he was alive and that sounded noth­ing like the mu­sic he was as­so­ci­ated with up to that point. Rough Trade reis­sued the al­bum in 2005, but that did lit­tle to ex­pand his fame.

But there have been sev­eral doc­u­ments about Rus­sell of late to cast some more light on his mu­sic and legacy. Matt Wolf’s Wild Com­bi­na­tion: A Por­trait of Arthur Rus­sell (2008) doc­u­men­tary and Tim Lawrence’s Hold On To Your Dreams biog­ra­phy a year later have given fans valu­able in­sights into his life and now comes the Red Hot trib­ute.

For a man viewed as out of time when he was alive, it seems now that Rus­sell was sim­ply ahead of his time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.