Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kip of the Serenes|
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Hux Records is proud to announce the forthcoming re-release of this classic slice of psychedelic folk. Based in Dublin, the Strangelys were friends and contemporaries of the Incredible String Band, whose producer Joe Boyd... more »
Hux Records is proud to announce the forthcoming re-release of this classic slice of psychedelic folk. Based in Dublin, the Strangelys were friends and contemporaries of the Incredible String Band, whose producer Joe Boyd signed them to his Witchseason management and production company in 1969. This first album originally came out in mid 1969 on Island Records. Over the years, Kip has acquired a considerable cult status; in 2007, Record Collector Magazine proclaimed it one of the UK's `hundred most collectable progressive rock records.' Previous CD reissues of Kip have been of variable quality, but we have now set matters right with this special Collectors' Edition. Using the tape restoration skills of the Audio Archiving Company, we have re-mastered the album directly from the original stereo mixes and added four previously unheard bonus tracks, taken from the original studio sessions. Belying the age of the tapes, the sound quality is sparkling. Music historian Adrian Whittaker,responsible for our well-received archive Strangely's release Halcyon Days, has put together a lavish accompanying booklet including a history of the band, new interviews with the band members, Joe Boyd and writer Iain Sinclair, full lyrics to the songs and many previously unseen photographs.
Kerry Leimer | Makawao, Hawaii United States | 03/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Kip of the Serenes" is a beautiful and eccentric record that still deserves a level of attention that has for too long been withheld. In many ways this remains my favorite DSS record, of the too few that there are. The remastering is extremely effective here. There's still something about acoustic recordings from this period that reveal an almost holographic illusion of dimension, and it's revealed here again. Not on every track, but in several pieces things do find their spots within the soundstage with remarkable conviction. In addition to the time improvements, there's a warmth to the voices and a bounce to the dynamics that were hard to extract from the original vinyl and completely absent from the early digital transmutations. Some of the hi-end percussion elements now exhibit artifacts akin to sibilance, but these are probably just the revealed shortcomings of the original mics and have nothing to do with the remastering itself. The extra tracks are OK, interesting bits but not essential. Just nice to have around. As is the informative booklet with some historical snaps, notes, comments and complete lyrics.
As for the music itself, it still strikes a lovely balance between opposites: charming and profound, innocent and informed, naïve and quite knowing. And quite melodic. The Stranglies hit on a few particularly wonderful pieces in their earliest days: "Strings in the Earth and Air" (favored by an ethereal cover on Robin Williamson's "Myrrh") and "Frosty Mornings" leave one wondering why greater recognition did not follow. The first, an atmospheric and mythic enigma, the second a joyful observation of the every day sum the two poles of DSS. Add a nod to James Joyce -- apparently not acknowledged on the original release -- and the simple but lovely "Tale of Two Orphanages", some spontaneous laughter and large doses of traditional folk voicing as well longer, more "progressive" constructs, and you have a very fine debut. At the time "Kip" struck me as a nearly ideal middle ground between the lushly imagined worlds of The Incredible String Band and the meticulous reinterpretations of traditional music by Fairport Convention.
To those who have chased down various CD versions of this one-of-a-kind release -- distinct even within the Strangely catalog -- there's no doubt that the recovery here has been worth the wait and is well worth buying for the third or fourth time."