Label: Modern Harmonic
Format: LP, coloured
The first ever collection of Jill Kroesen's wildly inventive and often dystopian compositions from '72 through '84. Includes her art rock masterpiece Stop Vicious Cycles, her coveted '80 single, an equal amount of unissued treasures, and copious liner notes. Jill Kroesen is probably best known for her 'no wave' compositions throughout the 1970s and early '80s. It's a fascinating and theatrical sound that sort of defies categorization. This compilation should help this music of real historical significance reach a wider audience, containing her best known works as well as unreleased tracks and much required liner notes to try and explain all this.
Her voice is large, unique, and charismatic. Her presence is charming and flirty. One can’t help but be drawn in. When she sings about fascism and dictators and bad boyfriends, the audience almost blushes. The songs are authentic, and there is always a shock of recognition. This record could serve as a who's who of the New York downtown scene. Bill Laswell (Material) plays bass. Peter Gordon (Love of Life Orchestra) plays sax. Jody Harris (Raybeats) plays guitar. David Van Tieghem (LOLO, Steve Reich) percussion. Fred Smith (Television, Tom Verlaine) plays bass. Composer George Lewis plays trombone. The music? Basically torch songs, with a strong blues beat and a lot of atmospheric noise in the background. Kroesen, a former Love of Lifer herself, here sings her own breed of wordy dirges-more a running recitative than individual songs. Socio-political concern rears its ugly head, but pianist "Blue" Gene Tyranny can really play the blues. For those who liked Patti Smith's "Pissing in a River.” -Trouser Press (issue 91, 1983 in reference to Stop Vicious Cycles (LP1 here))