Considering the fact that Frog Peak Music sent me this CD, The Time is Now, way back in 2003, it’s safe to say the time is now for me to review it. Released even earlier, in 1997 to be exact, the album contains avant-grade spoken word pieces originally penned by writer Melody Sumner Carnahan from 1979 to 1981 for a book of the same name published in 1983. The subject matter of many of the pieces covers the ubiquitous topic of love, sex and relationship problems, while others proffer a more surreal stream of consciousness. Subsequently combined with sound by various musician and composer friends of Melody’s (including experimental music luminaries like Robert Ashley, Maggi Payne, Larry Polansky and several more) from 1983 to 1996, the words emerge from the speakers and hit the air via strange, layered up vocals and myriad jarring musique concrete-style sound effects.
All manner of electronic sounds–from light tinkling to effervescent ambient drones–are scattered throughout the tracks, and the stereo field. One track features some good ol’ instrumental music in the form of distorted electric guitar improv coupled with computerized glitchy electronics, while another even boasts an insistent, almost disco-like drum beat! And it all comes packaged up in a Jewel case inside a slipcase containing not one, but two booklets, a thin job that gives information on all of the tracks, while the other–a thick, perfect bound softcover book–contains all of the words to the pieces, along with lots of really stark black-and-white avant-garde collage artwork and bold graphic design and layout by the always awesome Michael Sumner. Hell, the book itself is almost worth the price of admission alone!
Label: Frog Peak Music Catalog Number: FP006 Format: CD + Book Packaging: Jewel case and book inside slip case Tracks: 15 Total Time: 74:00 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Burning Books, Mode, Radio Café, Santa Fe Reporter, Spotify
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