Ben Lamdin, better known as Nostalgia 77 and head honcho of the Nostalgia 77 Octet has kindly decided to tell us about three of his favourite songs. The new album, called The Sleepwalking Society, is due out on Monday 21st March on Tru Thoughts and the lead single is just below. As well as making records he also manages to find the time to run his own record label called Impossible Ark Recordings. They are a small label who seem to like to do things the old fashioned way, with a small roster, vinyl releases and concentrating on getting some really good music out there. You can have a look at the website here and you can go and buy the new album from here. Anyway, on to the music.
Here are three songs on rotation right now…
Recorded in 1969 in London and produced by Joe Boyd, it’s hard to pick a track off Nick drakes Five Leaves Left LP. Nick Drake manages to say a lot in word and music with the bare minimum, an enviable skill. This track is notable for both the song writing, Drake’s performance and the spiraling stately string arrangement written by Nick’s college friend Robert Kirby, who passed away recently.
My wife played this to me the other day after coming back from seeing the film Blue Valentine. The song was never released and nothing is known about the band, only this demo version exists. I like that even in the roughest version and incomplete musical offering you can hear so much passion. It’s a reminder that music in essence isn’t about popularity, success, industry or career. If fact whilst we have become experts in educating musicians, manufacturing and engineering a music industry, it often fails to justify it’s existence, frequently dilutes our experience of music and will always be second fiddle to the act or creating and experiencing music. Oh the song: it’s a simple heartfelt statement of this… love and a relationship between two people.
There are a number of recordings of this song… It’s very important to check the one from the LP Ramblin’. I’m very influenced by instrumental music; music without words is free to mean many things to people. This is a simple piece of piano music written by Carla Bley – at the time Paul Bley’s wife. This rendition encapsulates something I love in music which is the ability to communicate two seemingly contradictory states simultaneously. Of course that is just my impression of Ida Lupino but to me the whole piece is at once uplifting, stately and beautiful whilst at the same time struck through with sadness and tragic uncertainty. In my opinion a miniature masterpiece.