Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Album-length remastered collection of No-Man B-sides shows off the band's gift for constructing velvety, contemplative textures and dreamy portraits of passing moods. Steven Wilson's gracefully sampled atmospherics are b... more »
Album-length remastered collection of No-Man B-sides shows off the band's gift for constructing velvety, contemplative textures and dreamy portraits of passing moods. Steven Wilson's gracefully sampled atmospherics are buoyed up by onetime Japan players Steve Jansen, Richard Barbieri and Mick Karn. The sort of album that starts off as a chill-out but ends up turning you on. 5 tracks. Hidden Art. 2002.
Absolutely essential B-sides collection.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 06/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An unexpectedly essential EP, "Heaven Taste" is a compilation of B-sides from the early part of No-Man's career, including the lengthy title track. Having said that, No-Man couldn't've done a better job selecting the tracks they stuck on this record, eschewing the sort of remix fodder that shows up on many of these sort of collections for some fantastic material and providing an unusual sense of cohesiveness on the record.
Opening with "Only Baby" B-side "Long Day Fall", it's clear there's some special material on here-- a moody violin solo, synthesized rhytnms a great vocal and an unusual backing vocal chant (something I've never heard from No-Man) leave you scratching your head as to why this one didn't end up on a record. Likewise for Flowermouth outtake "Babyship Blue"-- funky basslines and programmed beats, noisy guitars and endless layers of sound set up a fantastic platform for Bowness, excused from Flowermouth I suspect only because it didn't quite fit the groove of that record.
The EP takes a turn for the distinctly moody after that, "Sweetheart Raw" b-side "Bleed" may be the most morbid piece in the band's catalog, churning and downtempo with a downright wounded vocal from Bowness before closing with almost an industrial sound, it's really got something going on. Likewise, a cover of Nick Drake's "Road" (from Brittle Days - A Tribute to Nick Drake) uses a descending motif and a detached vocal to great effect.
Closing the record out is the title track and B-side to Painting Paradise E.P.-- a 22+ minute instrumental workout featuring the No-Man live band at the time, ex-Japan members Richard Barbieri (soon to join No-Man instrumentalist Steven Wilson in Porcupine Tree), Steven Jansen and Mick Karn. Building gently over its extended timeframe, the piece opens in a groove with a synthesized melody statement, moves through percussion and ambient interludes before cutting loose. Karn hits a signature liquid bass groove, Jansen provides a tribal framing on the drum kit and the piece threatens its way into a post-progressive funk before coming back around to the beginning. 22 minutes later, you're waiting for more.
Generally, these sorts of things are collector only material, but honestly, "Heaven Taste" is so good, I have a hard time imagining anyone with even a small interest in No-Man wouldn't want this. Highly recommended."