(It's Alive Media) Independent Project Records announced that a previously unreleased three-LP set from Bauhaus and Love & Rockets founding member David J is coming on red opaque vinyl in a letterpress-printed package (in a numbered, limited edition of 500 copies) as part of this year's Record Store Day's RSD Black Friday.
Recorded from 1984 through 2004, these 34 lo-fi/outsider folk solo jewels have never been released in physical format before. All tracks have been mastered from original source tapes by the late Gary Hobish with lacquers cut by Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive). IPR founder Bruce Licher designed the LP package, which was hand-letterpress printed at Independent Project Press and includes a numbered perforated insert with an essay by Jeffrey Clark (Shiva Burlesque/Torn Boys).
With Tracks from the Attic, the Bauhaus and Love and Rockets co-founder invites us to join him and climb up the ladder. A most fascinating journey ensues: we're looking through boxes of tapes, getting reacquainted with an artist we've known for a long time - yet, the intimate songs he recorded in solitude over three decades reveal new sides to him. Even while busy with his two legendary groups, David J was bursting with songs; this is a thrilling selection of recordings he made over two decades, some on the road and most at home, with only the help of his Muse, a recorder and a lit candle.
Like all good attic finds, these songs were committed to tape and almost forgotten - it wasn't until a fan-cum-friend suggested he'd offer his digitizing skills that David thought about revisiting them again. All, except for deep cut 'This Town', had never previously been heard in physical format. Select, raw, unmastered tracks were shared only as digital downloads with a few fan club members. The fact that most of these tunes did not end up becoming beloved classics (something that, once you hit play, your ears will hardly come to terms with) is but a sign of David J's ever prolific creative state.
Mostly composed on acoustic guitar, the songs offer unexpected revelations to long-time fans, as they bring to light facets of David J's musical self that possess an in-the-moment rawness unique to their setting. It is indeed fascinating to follow the evolution of David J's art with songs through the decades, from the observational lyrical montages of the early days to a later, confident embrace of the deeply personal. At the same time, Tracks from the Attic can also be seen as a striking introduction for newcomers - it does feel like meeting one of the great British singer-songwriters for the first time. 'Oh No! Not Another Songwriter!', one of the triple-album set's highlights cheekily cries out. Well, this compilation is evidence that this is not just any songwriter.
Track listing below:
1. Punishment by Roses
2. The Dream Collector
4. The Murders in the Rue Morgue
5. My Soul Was Still Shouting, 'MORE!'
6. I Wish Those Spacemen Would Come
7. Badge of Lead (A Western)
8. Small Death of a Broken Doll
9. She Calls the Morning Cruel
10. Lady Bureaux
11. Is There Anybody There?
1. The Wolf Knows
2. Castles of Limburg
3. If Muzak be the Junk Food of Love
4. Homo Sapien Blues
5. This Town
6. Vincent in the Flames
7. They've Murdered Christ Again
8. Lucky Dog
9. Old Man in the Rain
10. Conspiracy of Shadows
11. The Long Ride Home
1. Cruel Brittania
2. All the Pilgrims
3. It's Got to Be the Angels
4. I'll Put Off Thinking About You for Awhile
5. Or Do I Speak Too Soon?
6. Oh No! Not Another Songwriter!
7. Diamonds, Black Eyes and Valentines Blues
8. The Most Beautiful Girls in the World
9. Before the Positive Was Negative
10. At Paradise
11. New Year's Day
12. Leaning Towards the Falls