Movietone - S/T 2LP
Movietone - S/T 2LP (World of Echo / UK)
This first pressing is sold out over seas so grab one of these while the record is still around. Second press won't be available for a few months. This double disc set feat. the original album plus seven additional tracks, three of which are exclusive to the vinyl pressing. Mastered at Abbey Rd / Edition of 1000. Art & Design by Kate Wright & Matthew Walkerdine. Please note that the three tracks on side D are not available digitally*
- Courtesy Desk Review by Erin O -
Listening Notes: Reissues are a wonderful thing. How many times do we miss out on special, potentially life-altering records because we never see one in a bin, or, if we do see it, we can’t afford the hefty price tag for such a rare find? Reissues give us a chance to hear things we never thought we would. Reissues are especially wonderful when they're done well — like this 2-LP reissue of Movietone's self-titled debut.
Movietone came into being when Matt Jones — of Crescent, another Bristol band — mentioned to Kate Wright that Crescent's label, Planet Records, wanted to hear more demos from women.
Wright and Rachel Brook formed a band — at the time called The Vermicious Knids (named after the otherworldly and terrifying carnivorous creatures from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator) — recorded some demos, and sent it to Planet. Two years later, in 1995, Movietone came out on that same label.
Until now, that 1995 release was the only vinyl one. A CD version came out that same year, and again in 2003, with some bonus tracks. The vinyl was hard to find, and pricey. This reissue compiles all of that material, including a demo of "Late July," recorded at Brook's house by Dave Pearce from Flying Saucer Attack, plus "She Smiled Mandarine Like" and "Alkaline Eyed," which made it onto that fateful first demo tape.
Describing Movietone is, well, a true challenge, because the band is, and yet is not, so many things. The sound is not alternative rock, indie rock, or shoegaze, and yet it's all of those. Like if Josephine Wiggs of The Breeders sang the slow Prolapse songs, if Slowdive laid off on the reverb a little, if Mazzy Star were less diaphanous and more opaque…and from a rainy city on England's west coast, instead of a sunny one on the U.S.’s.
It's hard not to draw sonic comparisons to Portishead, perhaps Bristol's best-known band of the era, too. Whether or not the two bands listened to one another, we can't say (because we don't actually know).
On their self-titled debut, Movietone isn't exactly quiet, but they're not loud, either. The songs are noisy and yet spare, soothing and yet activating. Wright's sonorous voice, a hallmark of the sound, weaves in and out of the instrumentation — sometimes it's hard to tell them apart, they melt together so well. Whether Wright's singing, talking, or sing-talking over hypnotic picked guitar patterns or what sound like cinematic special effects deployed in the background, the listener has to tune all the way in to decipher her message.
The previously unreleased demos aren’t the only thing listeners will experience anew. Wright still had the original artwork, pages of a tourist guide of Salamanca, Spain, that she painted over. Photocopied for the original album, that artwork is now more detailed.
In a recent and very enthusiastic Facebook post about the reissue, Wright wrote out some of these details, plus thanks to Richard King of Planet Records for writing an introduction to the new liner notes and for taking a chance on Movietone 30 years ago. "Finally, thanks to you all for listening to our music," she wrote. It means a lot."
Mood: Walking in a city park on a slightly chilly, misty night. You know the kind, when the mist magnifies and warms the halo around the streetlights.
World Of Echo are proud to announce the long-awaited reissue, of the self-titled debut album by Bristol’s Movietone. Originally released in 1995 by Planet Records and reissued on CD in 2003 by The Pastels’ Geographic Music imprint, this is the first time Movietone has been reissued on vinyl. An expanded double-LP edition, it includes the extra tracks from the 2003 CD (their first two singles, and an unreleased demo of “Chance Is Her Opera”), and adds three more unearthed gems: demos of “Alkaline Eye” and “She Smiled Mandarine Like”, and an early take of “Late July”, recorded in a garden by Dave Pearce (Flying Saucer Attack) in 1993. Taken together, this is the definitive collection of music from the first phase of one of Bristol’s most remarkable groups.