Search - Residents :: Eskimo

Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Limited edition deluxe book package.2008 digitally remastered edition of this classic Residents album. In 1979 "Punk" music was all the rage. The Residents had gone though their Punk stage three years earlier with the rele...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Residents
Title: Eskimo
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mute U.S.
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 5/27/2008
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, New Wave & Post-Punk, Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Experimental Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724596939024


Album Description
Limited edition deluxe book package.2008 digitally remastered edition of this classic Residents album. In 1979 "Punk" music was all the rage. The Residents had gone though their Punk stage three years earlier with the release of their single 'Satisfaction' and were ready for anything that was not Punk. They decided it was a good time to make the jump into World Music, since by their own calculations it would not become popular for several more years. They scanned the map for a proper culture to exploit and, not finding one, became discouraged until seeing a large Coke sign featuring Santa Claus. Immediately they realized they had overlooked the North Pole because it is made of ice and therefore didn't exist on their world map. And so, Eskimo was born. And what a birth it was! Imagine the sound of Eskimo's mating, hunting and calling upon their spirits, then add wind, snow and odd music and you've pretty much covered this album! Mute.

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CD Reviews

A brave, unique, visionary masterpiece
Paul J. Escamilla | NYC | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I admit it. When this album came out all those years ago, I wanted to like it as much as I knew it deserved, but I couldn't. It was just too freaking weird, and if it was too weird for a Residents fan like myself, you know it had to be FAR OUT.

I absolutely loved the beautiful cover art, but the "music"? On previous releases, The Residents had made legends of themselves by deconstructing, demolishing, warping and reconstructing "rock" music into all sorts of weird mutations. But underneath all the strangeness, one could still feel the familiar beat of rock music.

With "Eskimo", they just completely left rock music behind. Not just rock, but all Western music, and all African-derived music forms. They also left English behind, and created their own gutteral language, which was supposed to sound like Inuit (I guess). They pushed the envelope so far that they burst through it and found themselves in an aural universe completely their own. Sui generis. It was a fantastic achievement. Brave and daring and bursting with hubris. "Eskimo" was (is) so OUT THERE, that you didn't know if you were being taken for a ride...maybe it was all just a joke? Another prank by these merry jesters?

I tried to like it. I listened to it repeatedly. My poor little brain just did not know what to do with these sweeping vistas of arctic sounds, chanting, strange tongues, pounding drums, clapping and occasional oases of "music" (like the last four minutes of "The Festival of Death".

It was not rock. It was not jazz, nor blues, nor western classical music. It wasn't anything like the African, Indian and Asian traditional musics that I'd heard. A lot of it didn't even sound like it was from our planet...

Years and decades have passed, and to my great surprise, I recently gave "Eskimo" another listen and was blown away. It finally makes sense to me. I guess all these years of exposing myself to music from around the world has stretched my ears enough that I can appreciate what the Residents created. I still don't know what it is, but I like it. And I recognize it as a crowning achievement in the art of sound."
Unique - A journey through time, space and temperature.
Nitram | Australia | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Possibly one of the best albums ever put together, Eskimo is The Residents crowning achievement. Operating on several levels, the album is a collection of six eskimo tales told in the Residents inimitable style - a combination of the ridiculous and the sublime. Whilst being deadly serious on one level, it operates with hilarity on another.
Being lucky enough to possess recordings of actual Eskimo tribes from Hudson Bay (folkways recordings), I can report that the Residents did their homework and have produced sounds which are astonishingly ethnographically accurate. Eskimo chant rhythyms and forms are blended with other-wordly synthesised sounds to take you onto the ice. If you close your eyes you could almost be there in the stories - there is a moment of touching and exquisite beauty as the eskimos dance for the end of winter and the first light as the sun rises for the first time in six months and, with a little imagination, you can be there as they rejoice at its emergence.
Beautifully presented in the vinyl gatefold cover, the stories are written out and it adds to the experience if you read as you listen and contemplate. Musically it is great - very residential and a bit 'out there' but there are some passages that are genuinely brilliant and very trippy.
Not a casual, easy listen - but then the Residents are probably not for the casual listener. If you see this, you must snap it up! Simply a must-have."
Bring your imagination
David Roberts | St. Charles, MO | 11/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Admittedly not a casual listen, and not for toe tappers and finger snappers. This is an immersive album, and having seen the film of sorts
may help one to get into it. Personally I think it is many things from frightening to beautiful. Amazing. Listen to it in the dark and see where it takes you. For me it works; the north seems to be a cold,
strange and mysterious place, and The Residents, most excellent guides."