Your basket is currently empty.
Items you add to your basket will appear here.
Sign in to view existing basket.Sign In
Label manager Matthew Jones gives a guide to All Saints
For the ‘Greater Lengths’ project, we presented a sampler of label highlights accompanied by a number of re-works of classic All Saints Records tracks by contemporary producers working in a sympathetic idiom. It was inspiring to hear the novel ways in which the new artists approached their interpretations: James Blackshaw re-arranged a Roger Eno solo piano piece into his own psych-folk cover for drums, guitar and organ, Ela Orleans chopped up a Laraaji piece for thumb piano into a dreamy multi-layered shuffle, and Odd Nosdam took a single note of Harold Budd and turned it into an ecstatic tape loop. My favourite versions of all though were the radical takes on pieces by Cluster and Harmonia member Roedelius from his jazz trio ‘Puente’ album. Peaking Lights turned the title track into a balearic sunset disco anthem, whilst Hieroglyphic Being took a riff from “Remember” and turned it into a heavily percussive slice of shimmering, saturated acid house.
Originally put together as a mixtape for his friend, the Russian painter Sergei Shutov, this 1992 album recalls some of the disquieting but atmospheric miniatures put together for the original ‘Music For Films’ album. Icy synth soundscapes from a lost dystopian film of a future past. For the 2014 expanded editions on All Saints, Brian opened up his archives for the first time to add extra material to the packages, in the case of this album presenting seven never-before-heard pieces.
Laraaji has explored a number of different styles since he started making music on the streets of New York in the 1970s, from synth experiments to Arthur Russell-esque “vision songs”. At the heart of his work though is a commitment to deeply meditative longform pieces, exemplified here on two side-long epics of gorgeous dappled textures to get utterly lost in. Hammered and strummed zither processed through his many FX pedals to achieve a completely blurred but hypnotic sound, reminiscent in spirit of the more spiritual German practitioners of ‘kosmische’ music, such as Popul Vuh. This looks absolutely killer on transparent clear vinyl as well. Interesting fact: the photos used on the cover and labels were taken by Laraaji himself from the window of an airplane on his first ever trip to Europe in the mid-1980s.
The ex-Velvet Underground member has had an eclectic solo career, from his drone work with La Monte Young, through to the eleagic songcraft of his 70s solo albums and detours into modern classical, punk, electronica and more. This 1989 album was produced by longtime friend and collaborator Brian Eno, and the central ‘Falklands Suite’ is based on the poems of fellow Welshman Dylan Thomas, with dramatic strings recorded in pre-Glasnost Moscow. After the heavy orchestral works that dominate the album, it concludes with the understated gem “The Soul Of Carmen Miranda”, a subliminal electronic pulse driving along a melancholy pop song up there with his best work. There’s a great black & white documentary film directed by Rob Nilsson about the (sometimes fraught) making of this album which is well worth tracking down.
Why the stunningly beautiful music of Roger Eno isn’t as lauded as someone like Nils Frahm is a modern musical mystery. Unfairly overshadowed by the talents of his older brother, this compilation of some of his best solo work showcases his concise chamber music arrangements and austerely melodic solo piano work. Anyone who has been affected by the music of Yann Tiersen, Michael Nyman, Erik Satie or the Erased Tapes roster would find something to love here. There’s something very British about Roger’s almost baroque compositions (or “decompositions” as he sometimes refers to them) - both the title and music of a track such as “Rain Stopped Play” capture an inalienable sense of place in the same way that Ray Davies does with lyrics, or Aphex Twin does with synths.
This mini-album from 1981, originally issued on the artist’s own Cantil label, captures a fascinating sub-genre never heard before or since. The combination of dusty pedal steel, wind-blown drones, and minimal splashes of piano combine to create a kind of widescreen cosmic americana. Ambient country music shorn of lyrics and elaborate adornment, rendering the remaining components somehow more powerful and heartbreaking.
Another album in Harold’s catalogue which doesn’t resemble anything else he has done, let alone bear relation to another artist’s work. This album is based around the composer’s own poetry, with instrumental pieces inspired by the titles, or Harold reciting the words over spare backing tracks. Would work as an alternate soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ ‘Paris, Texas’, or perhaps David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’. Bleak but weirdly uplifting.
Futuristic sci-fi funk with a completely melted production aesthetic – instruments and samples meld into one another in the manner of the best dub records. This 1990 album was partly inspired by Jon’s interest in the hip-hop scene of the time, particularly Public Enemy and the underlying cacophonic sample-heavy cut-ups of the Bomb Squad. Definitely the most involved any of the All Saints artists have got in a reissue of their work, Jon wrote sleevenotes and embarked on an extensive trawl through his archives, coming up trumps with an entire live performance of the ‘City’ material (from a late-80s NYC art installation by Brian Eno in the World Trade Center), as well as a brilliant alternate vision of the album, ‘Psychogeography’, stitched together from demos, rehearsal takes and new remixes. One of the most aesthetically-pleasing packages we’ve produced as well, with both the 3-disc hardbound CD and double vinyl featuring newly-commissioned artwork by Peter Salmon-Lomas.
Arguably the definitive recording in the catalogue of this Armenian master musician, it was originally released on a Soviet state-owned record label and discovered by Brian Eno on an early-80s trip to Moscow. Eno described the album as “without doubt one of the most beautiful and soulful recordings I have ever heard”. Predominantly played on the Duduk, a double-reed woodwind instrument of ancient origin noted for its unique, mournful sound. The album has gone on to inspire a large number of musicians and film-makers, leading to Gasparyan being invited to contribute to soundtracks including ‘The Crow’ and ‘Gladiator’. As with the mini pastoral symphonies of Roger Eno, this is folk music of a kind, conjuring up a sense of where the music was made as well as anything from the folkways archive.
As good a sampler for the diverse talents of the label’s roster as any. Highlights include Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones’ nightmarish sound collage “4-Minute Warning”, Misha Mahlin and Lydia Theremin (granddaughter of instrument inventor Léon Theremin) with the haunting “For Her Atoms”, and “Fleeting Smile” by Roger Eno, used to great effect in the film ‘The Jacket’. There’s several Brian Eno pieces not available anywhere else, and a collaboration between the Eno brothers on their title theme to the Dario Argento film ‘Opera’.