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Beside Herself Vinyl 2LP

RVNG Intl. / Freedom To SpendSKU lp-10226

sparkling synthscapes excavated from private press cassettes 1983-90
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  • Lab Overview
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Lab Overview

“I had two cassette decks and I would just bounce back and forth. I’d do one layer on one cassette then play along with it while that goes onto the next one, and so on.” On the heels of their reissue of Michele Mercure’s lone private press long player Eye Chant (originally issued under her then-married name Michele Musser), Freedom To Spend team with RVNG Intl to serve up this exhaustive collection of Mercure’s rare self-released cassette works. At the time of their release, in the midst of the cruel 80s, these tracks probably seemed more cheap than anything else, but a thousand lo-fi, synth and lo-fi synth resurgences in the interim allow us to examine Mercure’s work under a more discerning lens. Most of the tracks come from a small handful of cassettes so rare they’re not even on ‘scogs (their full-size artwork is reproduced on the compilation’s inner sleeves) as well as Mercure’s scores for independent films and DIY theater company productions. The collection reveals not only Mercure’s advanced programming and arrangements chops, but her imaginative musical visions which are perhaps only apparent now that we can look beyond the ‘cheapness’ of her wares: “Beside Myself” and “An Accident Waiting To Happen” foreshadow the SFX kitchen-sink aesthetic of eski grime and "Night Music" sounds like whatever it is Arca does, while “Liberation Day” and “Ghosts Before Breakfast” quench my thirst for Black Is Beautiful-era Hype Williams. The 20 tracks on offer are simultaneously sinister, gentle, sparkling and nocturnal, but remarkably, no two tunes sound alike; from the huge-sounding “No More Law In Gotham City” and the ethereal sampler spasm “Mother,” to the hissy “Time Piece” and warbly microbeats of “A Void Dance.” 20 tracks altogether spread cross two LPs; art direction is on point as per, with heavy stock printed inners, reverse-glued heavy outer jacket, download code and 12-page booklet containing photos and extensive liner notes. Recommended.

  • black double vinyl pressing
  • first-ever vinyl issue of Mercure's rare self-released cassette works
  • printed inner sleeve
  • 12-page booklet
  • digital download included
  • music label: RVNG Intl. / Freedom To Spend 2018
reviewed by tom violence 12/2018



UPC: 07161690


Review & Q+A


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