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Strange Weather from the Basement
  • Artist: Marianne Nowottny
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 675130544023
  • Item #: SRD054402
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 7/11/2006
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $10.98
Price: $9.06
You Save: $1.92 (17%)

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Strange Weather from the Basement on CD

'Now this is the sort of release that CD-R micro-labels were born to do. Although Ms. Nowottny's unique vocal and song-writing skills are usually at the centre of her art, in this case we are treated to a release of solo keyboard instrumentals. A relief for those who find her voice 'challenging', one supposes. Beauty and strangeness are encoded in Nowottny's DNA in equal measure, and they certainly are in evidence on the eight instrumentals for piano, Optigan and electronic keyboard presented here. From the outset, any disappointment at being denied the charms of Nowottny's voice and words are blown away by the antique Victorian elegance of the open piece (helpfully non-titled 'Untitled #1'). Seemingly played at midnight from some cobwebbed parlour by a spirit suspended between planes, this enchanted composition taps into a sepia-toned world that casts back modernity with cool gaze and infinitude of time. 'Untitled #2' and 'Untitled #3' have the detached elegance and simplicity of Satie, but are played with a off-kilter, halting hand that renders them truly alien. 'Untitled #4' is breathless and almost neurotically optimistic, notes showering down around like half-speed hail-stones before a switch-back into darkness and a psychedelic whirl of backwards tape manipulation. We've arrived in the 20th Century with shuddering suddenness as though travelling via an intermittently reliable time machine. We stay there for the broken carnival sounds of 'Untitled #5', which adds gramophone samples to the ass-backward sound world Nowottny is conjuring in stages via her Optigon. 'Divinity' (a title!) continues in carnival mode, with penny arcade tinkering and off-stage clatter from it's origins as a live recording. 'Untitled #6' is a brief stop at an asylum activity room and we're taken out via 'Untitled #7' - a very short but triumphal wedge of pure abstraction. 'Strange Weather...' is a fine departure from an artist who has released too little material of late, and one hopes that more is on it's way.' (Tony Dale, Ptolemaic Terrascope Online)