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If you don't like to mix up space music, gospel, techno-rave, percussion, and Eurodisco all in the same CD, then this isn't for you.
If, on the other hand, you have an open mind, and can appreciate a seamless stew of the above music styles, punctuated by three spritually uplifting songs, then we might have a deal.
I will tell you that since the release of "Moodfood" in 1992, I have been addicted to their trance-inducing sonic landscapes. When I heard they were releasing another CD, 5 years later, I jumped on my BMG rep to get me an advance copy. If CD's could have their grooves worn out, it would have happened already! I want to give this CD my strongest recommendation, but want to warn those away who may just think of this as roller-disco music. I'm sure it sounds great in a roller-disco, but it's so much more than that.
The three songs (Together As One (Luminous), Redemption Song (Oh Happy Day), and God Knows What I Want) are all sung by female singers whose identities are not specifically notated, placed against an ethereal, hypnotic musical underpinning. Some might say that mixing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" with the Edwin Hawkins gospel classic "Oh Happy Day" in the same song is sacrilege; maybe so. But it has grown on me and taken root quite deeply.
The music is quite "visual" and one could easily imagine much of this as movie music, but I think the movies are intended to be our own creations from our own imaginations.
I feel like I'm operating a little outside the strict confines of classical "Deadhead Music," but feel like Deadheads are among the most open-minded people around, and we've been exposed to a lot of different things via our community.
I hope you enjoy it,
PS, when's the last time you heard pedal steel guitar float ethereally? (in track 6)
1. Lifeforce In A Pizza
MOODSWINGS are Grant Showbiz and JFT 'Fred" Hood, two strong characters who are as enigmatic together as they are different apart. Grant is a motormouth, impulsive, conceptualist and visionary. Fred is the quiet one, although his laid-back persona betrays a thinking approach. As a schoolboy, Grant hung out with the New York Dolls and each have been obsessive pop fans since childhood. Their icons include Bob Marley, Mark E Smith, and Martin Luther King.
Their haunting 1992 debut album, "MOODFOOD", defied radio formats and conventional sales deomographics to become a true cult phenomenon. The album's "Spiritual High (State Of Independence)" featuring vocals by Chrissie Hynde, became a Top 5 Alternative smash and MTV "120 Minutes" favorite, and remains popular as the new theme to Chanel's television advertising campaign. The track "Skinthieves," featuring Jeff Beck, became the theme to Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted".
"Within MOODSWINGS we maintain alter-egos and nice and nasty personas," explains Grant. "Fred and I are very different people and we switch from being the nice and nasty one, and we do have very different ideas. I think that's reflected in the music. It's never the same, we try to make it unpredictable."
Unpredictability can only come through experience and both members' musical histories are complex and include time spent sound-mixing at free festivals (Grant) and playing in schoolboy punk bands and -for a time- in the Pretenders (Fred). But the MOODSWINGS story really begins in 1989, when, appropriately, drummer Fred met former guitar roadie Grant at the studio that would become integral to the pair's explorations, which Showbiz had built up in his Streatham house using funds garnered by working with The Smiths and The Fall.
Their boundry-battering mini-symphonies and elaborate pop constructions have been played at weddings, funerals, raves, at healing sessions and in meditation. Their greatest success so far has been outside the UK, where sales of MOODSWINGS albums have outstripped those of Underworld, Leftfield, and The Orb put together. An achievement that grows even more enviable when you consider that their entire output has been created in a tiny, rubbish-strewn but charmingly eccentric home studio in South London, making the adventurous duo arguably the biggest cottage industry in the world.
Thoroughly genre-busting, maybe they make the music of the future. Maybe they improve the music of the past.
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