Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hooray for Robby the Robot!

Amazon.com's "If you liked ____, then you'll love _____" feature is usually fairly decent, especially if you've given it a large enough data cloud to extrapolate from. This past week, it decided that since I'd purchased albums by the Cocteau Twins and Cowboy Junkies, I should give Dead Can Dance, specifically Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, a whirl.

Wow.

I mean... just... damn!

The album starts off ethereally atmospheric, not demanding your attention, happy to just tickle your ear and the back of your mind. As tracks go by, it gets more sweeping, more insistent. By track seven, "The Summoning Of The Muse", I pulled the car over in the moonlight and just listened to it, letting its haunting strains and Lisa Gerrard's amazing voice wash over me. Just wow!

Two thumbs up.

(...and again, here's an album that came out about the time I graduated from high school, yet not one person had the common courtesy to inform me of this band's existence for all these years. Selfish meanies, hoarding all the good tunes!)

13 comments:

Zendo Deb said...

Dead Can Dance has some great stuff.

BryanP said...

Good stuff, that.

One word of advice: they are definitely not good music to drive to. At least not late at night when you're already sleepy.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you might also like a band called QNTAL. The overall sounds are similar, but be warned that very few lyrics are in English (which is fine because it is intended to be atmospheric).

Matt G said...

I first learned about Dead Can Dance in the early '90s through an outstanding public radio station that once played music. (sniffle)I was struck by stuff off of their Into the Labyrinth album, like "The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove."

You are familiar with how they produce their albums, yes? They're on opposite sides of the planet from each other. New takes on ethereal music, played in the dark.

Anonymous said...

Do you like Mistle Thrush at all?

Mulliga said...

I have most of DCD's stuff. While I like the music, I don't agree with their politics, but meh.

Justin said...

If you like Dead Can Dance, check out The The.

Specifically Mindbomb.

Sigivald said...

We assumed you already knew. Sorry.

Next you can get some Cranes.

phlegmfatale said...

Wow, Tam, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about them when I told you about Nouvelle Vague - superbly atmospheric music, that. I fell in love with them about 20 years ago. Xavier is my favorite track on that cd. I also highly recommend Into the Labyrinth and Spirit Chaser (although A Passage In Time is the one that's in current rotation in my chariot). Oh, hell, they're all good. I think Lisa & Brendan are re-forming the group, and if you ever have the chance, crawl, drive or fly as far as you need to to see them perform. (If they come to Dallas, I'll buy you a ticket). Like matt g - The Ubiquitous Dr. Lovegrove is also a personal favorite. I also recommend any dvd of their work - astonishing approach to the forms of music and communication. Sounds like you had a supremely beautiful moment of discovery.

btw - Lisa Gerrard grew up in a Turkish/Irish community in Australia and the eastern ornament obviously heavily influences her compositions. She speaks of the non-language she creates for her music as a way of communication that is "liberated from the prisons of language." Enjoy.

Ninth Stage said...

Sorry I didn't mention them earlier. I saw them at a small venue some in L.A. 15+ years ago, last year they played the Hollywood Bowl so I thought it was unnecessary to mention. ;)

May I suggest This Mortal Coil? It's another 4AD production like the Cocteau Twins and the Dead Can Dance.

Anonymous said...

I'd heard DCD years ago on college radio, but recently re-found them via Lisa Gerrard's (DCD's vocalist) performances on the Black Hawk Down and Gladiator soundtracks. What a voice!!!

damaged justice said...

Track down the live version of "Cantara". Well worth it.

Matt G said...

"I'd heard DCD years ago on college radio, but recently re-found them via Lisa Gerrard's (DCD's vocalist) performances on the Black Hawk Down and Gladiator soundtracks."

Everyone refers to her as the vocalist. My favorite stuff by DCD, however is with Brendan Perry singing. His voice is a solid baritone which may not have a huge range, but it sits well with me.