Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Alva - 'Slattery for Ungdom' (Menlo Park)

I've always wondered about this record cause Alva was of course Thomas Edison's middle name, and Menlo Park, NJ is where his famous laboratory/inventionworkshop was -- so it this just coincidental that a label called Menlo Park released a CD by Alva? This was Alva's last gasp and only 12 minutes long at that, but it packs the soundspiral of their first disc into a quick demented cockpunch. The medieval aftertaste is still present, as are the ghosty child vocals, bursts of slapstick chamber music, and weirdo atmosphere. If anything is different maybe there's a bit more confidence, some bangers and mash freejazz moments ('Ooon Ong' and the end of 'March to Underneath') and some blatantly 'straight' tracks like 'Happysick' which are actually the strangest of all. In 1999 we were all worried about the y2k bug but we shoulda been morning the demise of Alva, though I don't know if more material would somehow damage their 'legend'. A buddy of mine emailed one of 'em a few years back offering to release any leftover material that might have gone unreleased, but received no reply. It's better off that way, we keep telling ourselves ....

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