CD Selenography (CD 174716),
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1. French Gallease, A
2. On Demeter
3. Last Light, The
4. Kentucky Nocturne
5. Honeysuckle Suite: I. Sugar Maple / II. Elm / III. Sweetgum
7. Old Road 60
8. Evening of Long Goodbyes, An
9. Cuts the Metal Cold
10. Mysterious Disappearance of Louis Leprince, The
12. Hearts and Drums
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 55
Robert Weston; Rachel's
Rachel's: Rachel Grimes (vocals, piano, harpsichord, keyboards); Giovanna Cacciola (vocals); Jason Noble (guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion); Christian Frederickson (viola, accordion, keyboards); Dominic Johnson (viola); Eve Miller (cello); Steve Buttleman (trumpet); Edward Grimes (vibraphone, drums); Kyle Crabtree, Gregory King (percussion).
Recorded at Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois on July 26 & 27, 1997 and Pachyderm Studios, Cannon Falls, Minnesota in 1998.
Rachel's is often lumped in with the "post-rock" crowd for its lack of vocals or 4/4 rhythms, but that's misleading. This forward-looking instrumental ensemble makes music that fits in no easy category. The heart of the sound is Rachel Grimes's piano, which lies at the center of most tracks on SELENOGRAPHY. The tunes combine a classical sense of arrangement and composition with an edginess that flirts with avant-rock. The closest comparison in the "rock" world, though, is to the avant garde "chamber" prog of groups like Univers Zero and Art Zoyd.
Unlike the dark, discordant approach of those artists, the sound of Rachel's is full of quiet elegance, subtly unsettling but often graceful and undeniably pretty. Strings, acoustic guitar and keyboards weave their way around the melodies outlined by Grimes's piano, occasionally stark and angular, but always attractive and engrossing. It's this combination of experimentation and delicate melodic color that makes SELENOGRAPHY so rewarding.
Q (8/99, pp.110,112) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...sees the extended 11-piece tackling an increased range of material encompassing the odd electronic essay and drum-and-guitar-laced chamber pop as well as their piano and string based pieces....Quite lovely..."
Magnet (8-9/99, p.89) - "...[They] continue to create music that defies catagorization....establishes its sense of time and place through the use of varying instrumental textures...with a cinematic quality that's as reminiscent of soundtrack music as anything else..."
The Wire (7/99, p.64) - "...Rachel's charm offensive elicited rhapsodic responses from some of the most doggedly monosyllabic bastions of rock journalism....a substantial musicality underpins its tranquil surface."
CMJ (6/7/99, p.26) - "...transcends chamber pop frippery to engage in beautiful studies of harmony and rhythmic tension..."
New Music Monthly (7/99, p.54) - "...Mating the can-do spirit of indie rock with the measured perfection of classical music...slow, graceful pirouettes anchored by piano, guitar and viola....these 12 compositions unfold with a deliberate relish, never racing impatiently towards the final cadence."
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