Review of Arthur Russell’s ‘World of Echo’ (1986, reissued 2004)
I can’t think of a record that changed the way I thought about sound and music–by being exactly what I’d always wanted to hear but never thought existed–more than ‘World of Echo,’ which I first heard around the summer of 2001. The first album I heard was Phillip Glasses’ posthumous 1993 compilation ‘Another Thought,’ then the only thing in print, and that was love. When I finally tracked down ‘World of Echo’–that was love forever. And so it was a wonderful surprise and a joy when around 2004 many of his recordings began to be reissued (most by Steve Knutson at Audika Records) and more importantly, appreciated by many more people than ever heard his music in his lifetime. Since then, a number of very good to revalatory reissues and compilations have been released, and I continue to be amazed as new facets of this sublime artist are revealed. [Don’t miss, for example, the collaboration with Peter Zummo, “Song IV,” previously posted here at Musicophlia Daily. And you can hear more Russell featured in mixes here, here, here, and here at Musicophilia.]
Here is a track not from ‘World of Echo,’ but appended on Audika’s 2004 reissue which seems to have been recently re-pressed–so please buy it! This is one of the most heartbreaking, beautiful, true songs I’ve ever heard: “Our Last Night Together”
Beyond the “more…” link is a review I wrote for Localist Magazine around the 2004 reissue of the album. I sent it to Audika’s Mr. Knutson, who passed it on to Arthur’s parents and partner; it was a moving moment when I heard back from Steve that they approved, and reportedly said I’d really gotten to the core of things.