018 - A Year of Sundays - Volunteers Collective

- $6.00 - (74 minutes)


Subject: [phiba-improv] A Year of Sundays

Remember that old show "Daktari" about the jungle veterinarian? And the opening credits had lions and orangutans and stuff running around, and then there'd be a snarl or a rattle and they'd sing "Daktariii-iii!"

Here is a review of the most recent tape I received from the PhiBaPaDC area. It is Widemouth Tape #18, "A Year of Sundays" by Volunteers Collective.

Side A of this tape contains 12 performances from Pennsylvania locations (Pittsburgh, Pottstown, and Bally). Side B contains remixes of the 12 performances, with 2 additional performances from Baltimore.

I have tried to avoid studying the liner notes, because when I first played the tape I was delighted by the variety of music and I still want to keep that feeling of mystery. Listening to this tape is like listening to the world's coolest radio station--each song is completely different, with different instrumentation and a different feel.

The songs were recorded in a variety of locations, and that also gives the feeling that you're listening to a dozen completely different groups, rather than 12 projects led by the same people. Sometimes you will hear lots of birds squawking, or a building blowing up, or idle conversation, or an insistent doorbell. One of the tracks is supposedly of floor refinishing, although I haven't been able to pin that one down.

This tape has no fear of silence. There are plenty of pauses, which is why I could never be sure if it was a new group playing or the current group was just taking a breather. Because the tracks don't have well-defined beginnings and endings, it's easy to let this fade into the background for a while, until some loud noise grabs your attention again. It flows beautifully.

If you are in the mood to trade tapes, I would recommend that you e-mail anon@fyi.net and try to get him to trade you this one.

(If you are in the mood to trade for "The Fourteen Points," e-mail me.)

I am, my dear Sirs,

Your much obliged friend,

And faithful humble servant,

Michael Benedetti

Mount Laurel, April 22, 1798


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The reviews are not necessarily copied verbatim from the original. Usually, small apparent typos are corrected & obsolete addresses are removed. In some cases, I may choose to leave misspellings, misinformation, etc intact to demonstrate how sloppy the reviewer is. Of course, there may be times when the original packaging was confusing (deliberately or otherwise) which may effect the reviewer's comprehension. The more recent the tapes are, the less likely this is to be the case. Most of the recent tapes provide fairly extensive liner notes. In some cases, reviewers whose native language isn't English may be writing in English anyway for the sake of 'internationalizing' their reviews. Obviously, this may lead to what strikes native English speakers as 'bad' English. Hopefully, equally obviously, this should not be interpreted as a lack of intelligence in the writing. Editorial notes may be inserted into the reviews in [brackets]. In many instances, I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) replied to reviews that I disagreed with strongly. These replies are included here. In some cases, I may add additional retrospective comments.