Wednesday, December 17, 2003

 
(Had problems with Blogger this morning, so apologies for the delay.)

Dean Wareham, as you probably know, was in Galaxie 500 and then Luna (I’m sorry, but I cannot resist mentioning that Luna played at my wedding). A few years ago, Britta Phillips joined Luna as their bass player. Trivia about Britta that you may want to know: she was the voice for the cartoon character Jem, of Jem and the Holograms; she was in the movie Satisfaction with Justine Bateman; she used to play in a not-bad Breeders inspired band called Ultrababyfat. In 2003, she and Dean recorded an album called L’Avventura with production by Tony Visconti, which I liked despite the fact that it’s somewhat lightweight.

Subsequently, Sonic Boom (who used to be in Spacemen 3) re-mixed five tracks from L’Avventura, and the results were released as Sonic Souvenirs. His changes are pretty minor in some ways…if you haven’t heard L’Avventura in a while, you might not even realize that you’re hearing a different version. But a bit of echo here, an emphasized drone there, and suddenly the songs get a while lot more interesting. A good example is Knives From Bavaria, which is much creepier in the remixed version, which puts more emphasis on the croaky vocals. The original has a slight western feel (probably Lee Hazlewood inspired), which Sonic pretty much removes entirely.

Your Baby shows up twice. The first time out, there's a rainstorm in the background, keyboards to replace many of the original's guitars, and it loses its drums entirely. It’s a great song, but the original sounds like something a band might play to “slow things down a bit” at a dance, while the remix is gently trippy.

If I had to describe the changes generally, I’d say that Dean is trying to move towards Serge Gainsbourg/Lee Hazelwood and Sonic gently picks him up and moves him back towards his soft-psych roots. On Sonic's website, he mentions the possibility of working on a full album with Dean and Britta next year -- I'm in favor of this.



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