Iowa-born San Francisco-educated but New York-resident Arthur Russell (1951)
was a cellist who composed chamber music inspired to Indian ragas, or
"Buddhist bubblegum music".
At the same time, Russell was a disc-jockey who recorded some of the most
original disco-music of the era :
Kiss Me Again by Dinosaur L, a 1979 club hit,
In The Light Of Moracle,
Let's Go Swimming,
Lola I's Wax The Van,
Loose Joints' It's All Over My Face.
At the same time, Russell was an avantgarde composer of minimalist music,
as documented on
the neoclassical seven-movement suite
Tower Of Meaning (Chatam Square, 1983) and the orchestral
Instrumentals (Crepuscule, 1984), originally recorded in 1975, both later compiled on
First Thought Best Thought (Audika, 2006).
World Of Echo (Upside, 1986 - Audika, 2005) collects compositions for voice and cello.
Russell died of AIDS in 1992, leaving almost 1,000 hours of music
unreleased, some of it collected on
Calling Out Of Context (Audika, 2004).
The funky-soul shuffle The Platform On The Ocean multiplies Russell's
soothing voice to produce both a melodic and a rhythmic effect, like composing
music with echoes.
The vocals basically duet with the sound effects in Hop On Down.
However most of the material is inferior, leaning towards the format of the
pop-soul ballad with really trivial arrangements.
Another Thought (Point, 1995) collects ballads for voice and cello.
The World of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz, 2004) is a career retrospective.
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