There is something about Angie Yeowell that gives this release an extra dimension. It can help in your listening experience.
In the last century she was a ballerina, a professional dancer with just enough weight on her bones to make it easy for her fellow dancers to lift her up and carry her around on the stage. We are talking about real professional Swanlake-Romeo-and-Juliet-ballet and about dance companies that put Royal at the beginning of their names.
She went to live and dance in Ostrava, a bleak Czech town not far from the Polish border and she lived in Prague, city of mystics and Kafka. She lived in the hedonist magic mushroom inspired city of Amsterdam and in impoverished Harlem in NYC before gentrification hit it hard.
And all that time she was a punk ballerina with blue or shiny black hair wandering around in a fast changing world that even didn’t know it was changing fast, only because everyone was clinging to the last remains of the 20th century.
She even made a radical change in her life, left the ballet world and went to live with buddhist beatniks in Colorado, probably close to a Glory Glory Sartori-yeah lifestyle and very close to the waves of enlightenment that washed upon earth’s shores. But also that life got absorbed once the century came to an end.
I know this is a very minimal glimpse in a now forlorn world where households- alas- were without internet. But it is a necessary annotation, because this album she made with her partner Robert Heim sounds like the come-back album of someone who had a kind of cult-fame in the last century and then disappeared completely from life and from everybody’s memory.
And now here she is, in Berlin. She made a tape, and there are fifty copies of it.
Put the tape in the record player. Listen.
The stage is dark. A dreamy melody wavers over the floor. One candle lights up. Then a spotlight. Angie dressed in black as if she has arrived after a train-ride that took twenty years. She sings. And from the first words you hear: „One candle in one room, its flicker, its shadow looms” you feel that this goes deeper then life. Here’s somebody who comes to you with all the wisdom and strength you can gather by simply surviving, and surviving knowingly.
Yes, I know I should shut up. But let me point out one other thing first, before you decide to buy this tape.
Once the introduction stops and the lights go on you envision a futuristic city full of dark alleys and shining galaxies, high-tech skyscrapers and industrial wasteland. You encounter visitors from outer space and hard-boiled detectives. It is a world constructed by Angie and Robert, that at moments seems mechanical and forces you through the tunnels of time and than again is raw and blood driven as if you’re chasing a murderer who wore red shoes; a murderer that could be a lover too.
All the rest is for your imagination.
C50 cassette, chrome quality. Recorded directly onto tape with a Marantz CP430.
Comes with a booklet, designed and produced by Angie Yeowell and Robert Heim.
Available at Staalplaat or directly from Slow Slow Loris or from me (staaltape at staalplaat.com) for as little as € 8.50.