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Moebius Story Leidecker – Snowghost Pieces

Bureau B

Story Leidecker Moebius – Snowghost PiecesNegativland still keep me chortling to myself whenever they pop up on random play. In fact random play seems designed for Negativland, has given them a place in the canon that might otherwise have excluded them – I don’t remember playing their records that much before MP3, though I liked having them and was eternally glad that they were there, in the background, chipping away at egos. I mention this because it’s that Leidecker.

Moebius is the one from Cluster, of course, who I had never actually listened to until young Matt Woebot mentioned them in the Hacker Farm/Kemper Norton/IX Tab article in The Wire a few years back and I thought it wise to seek them out immediately (yes, it turns out I had been ripping them off entirely, probably accidentally). I’ve now got all the Cluster albums, I think, and they are all excellent.

I don’t know Story and now feel rude. I’ll dig some stuff out about him and get back to you. Perhaps.

I digress — this isn’t the sum of parts; at least doesn’t seem to be the sum of these parts. Snowghost Pieces doesn’t especially sound like Cluster (I realise you’ll argue that even Cluster don’t always sound like Cluster) but does sound like a collaboration between people whose music in other guises I really like, whose live performances are exquisite but… it’s really hard to place what I feel about this album. I’ve listened to it a lot and I’m still struggling. It feels like an interesting album that was more fun to play than to have; it feels a bit like the recording of this and the issuing of it is a little superfluous.

Don’t get me wrong: I like it; the sounds work (the piano annoys me a bit), it’s incredibly, indelibly proficient. It ticks many of my boxes – a little rhythmic, a little wonky, sometimes skewed, occasionally surprising but in a way that seems like they don’t really have an eye on the listener at all. Other albums can be criticised by looking too much towards the listener; this one seems hermetic by comparison but also rather safe, especially when you look at the other (Other) work these guys have been responsible for. It doesn’t feel like we should be listening to this — this is a little intimate play between skilled colleagues with great ears; this isn’t for us. Listening in feels rude, somehow. Inappropriate. Unwanted and unnecessary.

I’d like to look at the history of this release a little more deeply. Was it intended to release this as a CD? Did the artists want this out there? And, if so, why? I won’t look too deeply of course; I’m not a journalist. And it doesn’t matter. But still, it reminds me that there really are too many things released. Even when (especially when) these things are good pieces of music, we need to take stock. Maybe we need to stop listening. When’s No Music Day again?


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