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Laurie Anderson - Big Science CD (album) cover

BIG SCIENCE

Laurie Anderson

 

Crossover Prog

3.98 | 58 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars A purple halo around a woman. she makes sex and the purple halo is now around a man. He injects him heroin together with friends and the purple halo is multiplied. The purple is the only visible color in a black and white film and the hypnotic vocoder of Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" permeates the first spot against AIDS put on air by the Italian TV.

This is how Laurie Anderson became very famous in Italy. Big Science had also a quite good commercial success despite the fact that's not an easy album. We all still associate that song with the purple halo.

Said so, this first album of this very unusual artist (there's a previous one but it was a 3 people collaboration effectively) was a surprise. Released in 1982, in the middle of the worst period of the music history this jewel appeared from nowhere. I don't know if she was already married to Lou Reed and what relationship she actually had with, but the first thing that her music makes me think about is Terry Riley.

Riley is a sort of modern classical composer and he wasn't using electronics when he composed "In C", but Laurie's approach to music is surely minimalistic and Riley is a recognized influence for Velvet Underground.

This album is weird and funny, too. There's a pilot calmly announcing the the aircraft is falling down to his passengers over a rocking electronic base "disturbed" by a jazzy sax a little out of tune so to create a strange dissonance which reminds me of Carla Bley.

There are melodic moments (track 2 and 8), the avantgarde of "Sweaters", played by pipes and drums, there's the hypnotic soundscape of violin and marimba on "Born, Never Asked" and a jazzy crazy patchwork made of spoken sentences in German which makes me think to the minimalistic period of Battiato (m.mlle Le Gladiatour) , there is some Basic language (LET X=X) ....well it could also be Fortran....so that "It Tango" could be interpreted as "IT" Tango.

However this album is amazing, especially thinking to the year of its release. A masterpiece? I don't know, but I don't think anybody will be upset if I round up my 4.5 stars

octopus-4 | 5/5 |

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