It struck me earlier in the week when I decided to pull this record off the wall that I rarely post up any music from what I like to call the “Heroic Years” of indie rock. Though this period of time still falls within my boundaries for this section of “20th Century Vinyl Archeology” for the most part I’m more focused on rare soul, funk and psych. For whatever reason sounds from this album popped into my mind earlier in the week and without a show this Sunday due to a fundraising special I thought I’d share it.
For years and years I always talked about this record as “Directions in Music” when it seems the actual name of the project was simply “Directions” and the album was titled “In Music.” The project featured multi-instrumentalist Bundy K. Brown, well known in post-rock circles for his work with Tortoise and Gastr Del Sol, Doug Sharin, drummer for Rex and June of 44, and guitarist James Warden. Back in 1996 when the album was first released, I was a co-music director at Album 88 in Atlanta and the record seemed pretty enigmatic. There were no song titles, didn’t appear there was a band name, and no lyrics either.
The title “Directions In Music” (a subtitle for Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew sessions) combined with the interesting use of repetition gave the music a very improvisational quality. The music is easily classified in the post-rock vein, but this collection of 8 songs always separated itself from the usually quiet then loud musings of Tortoise, Mogwai, Mono, Explosions In The Sky and other post-rock bands. I enjoy the music those bands have produced, but I’ve never cherised any of the records the way I do this one. I’m not entirely sure why. It is beautiful at times, such as the washes of feedback that begin “Untitled 4,” or the pastoral groove of “Untitled 1,” or the pensive charms that build and build in “Untilted 3″ and “Untitled 5.” In addition to the gorgeous sound produced from the interplay of these musicians, there’s just something special about the way they lock into particular grooves and play around with their themes that’s continually drawn me in for almost 15 years. Very pleased to see that Thrill Jockey reissued this record earlier in the year in celebration of their 20th anniversary. It’s not a record a lot of people heard the first time around, and likely few will hear it this time around too, but those that do will find a unique and lovely bit of music that I look forward to cherishing for years and years.