jueves, 21 de enero de 2010

Cocteau Twins - Aikea Guinea (EP)




Tracklist:


1. Aikea Guinea 4:01
2. Kookaburra 3:23
3. Quisquose 4:14
4. Rococo 3:10






Genere: Alternative Rock, Dream Pop, Post Punk.

Similar Artists: Dif Juz, Lowlife, Amp.

Recording Year: 4AD, 1985.



A group whose distinctly ethereal and gossamer sound virtually defined the enigmatic image of the record label 4AD, Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1979. Taking their name from an obscure song from fellow Scots Simple Minds, the Cocteaus were originally formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie and later rounded out by Guthrie's girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser, an utterly unique performer whose swooping, operatic vocals relied less on any recognizable language than on the subjective sounds and textures of verbalized emotions.

In 1982, the trio signed to 4AD, the arty British label then best known as the home of the Birthday Party, whose members helped the Cocteaus win a contract. The group debuted with Garlands, which offered an embryonic taste of their rapidly developing, atmospheric sound, crafted around Guthrie's creative use of distorted guitars, tape loops, and echo boxes and anchored in Heggie's rhythmic bass as well as an omnipresent Roland 808 drum machine. Shortly after the release of the Peppermint Pig EP, Heggie left the group, and Guthrie and Fraser cut 1983's Head Over Heels as a duo; nonetheless, the album largely perfected the Cocteaus' gauzy formula, and established the foundation from which the group would continue to work for the duration of its career.



In late 1983, ex-Drowning Craze bassist Simon Raymonde joined the band to record the EP The Spangle Maker; as time wore on, Raymonde became an increasingly essential component of Cocteau Twins, gradually assuming an active role as a writer, arranger, and producer. With their lineup firmly solidified, they issued The Spangle Maker, followed by the LP Treasure, their most mature and consistent work yet. A burst of creativity followed, as the Twins issued three separate EPs — Aikea-Guinea, Tiny Dynamine, and Echoes in a Shallow Bay — in 1985, trailed a year later by the acoustic Victorialand album, the Love's Easy Tears EP, and The Moon and the Melodies, a collaborative effort with minimalist composer Harold Budd.




The immediate follow-up to Treasure didn't match the effortless heights of that album, but still came darn close throughout, providing another brief, affecting precis of the trio at its best. The title track became another well-deserved Twins standard, a deceptively simple bass/guitar/drum combination driving away at its core, while Fraser sings beautifully over it all, matched by a swirl of Guthrie's production touches (piano, mock choir, and so forth). "Kookaburra" follows squarely in the path of faster Cocteaus tracks as "Because of Whirl-Jack," though here Fraser's vocals are more sweet and less dramatically piercing. Guthrie's guitar takes center stage here, starting the track with echoing swirls leading into the main riff. "Quisquose" puts piano up front as main accompaniment for one of Fraser's more adventurous vocals, mixing a high main lyric with a more free form performance set against it, calling to mind the slightly similar contrast in vocal takes on "Lorelei." The instrumental "Rococo" ends the EP with style, a quiet bass/percussion opening leading into one of Guthrie's trademark fusions of feedback, volume, and heavily-produced beauty. Raymonde's bass stands out strongly throughout as well, a fine combination.










Fields Of Haze.

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