Monday, 17 August 2009

Marilyn Roxie '& Friends' - Collaborative EP 01 'Earth' (2009)

So as not to be accused of contributor bias (you'd have to comment to do that anyway, ha!), I'll do the preamble. I wouldn't have taken the trouble to become acquainted with the Roxbot if it wasn't for coming across her Uematsu-like synth compositions, quirky BBC Radiophonic Workshop mini-suites and sometimes ambient, sometimes jarring dronescapes plucked straight out of REM sleep... in that order. Actually I think it started after finding some rare Cornershop albums posted on her blog... but I digress. Aside from the instrumental music I've got a great deal of respect for anyone who exploits the potential of the internet as a free artistic platform, and I don't just mean self-promotion. Rather than reading me list Marilyn's myriad gifts to an ungrateful web-o-sphere, just follow the links below and see for yourself. It's just nice to know that floating on a sea of opportunists and disposable dross (a bit like this overdressed mp3 blog) there are actually some innovators.

The latest Marilyn Roxie project is a planned series of freely downloadable, themed EPs, each release being produced in collaboration with a different cross-section of bedroom musicians over the internet. The remit is as broad as the international palette, although 'Earth' remains vaguely rooted in Roxie's current ambient/shoegaze-inspired style. There's nothing negative (--=+?) I am dying to impart about it either, except that maybe I'm perched uncomfortably on the fence about the track 'Plain Little Game'...
But even had the EP's title been 'Beach Party Campfire Ballads in E Minor To Matt Your Dreads To', I'd still be overwhelmed by the ambition behind this project and would still put it to the reader: 'what have you got to lose?'. This is the genius of the (sadly dwindling) EP format - it's not disposable, but neither will it take a chunk out of your afternoon.

Some tracks are more idiosyncratic, exhibiting Roxie's characteristic semi-improvisation, others feel like they have been daubed, mangled or blended by a stranger. It's impossible to guess who is responsible for what most of the time, but that's part of the fun; and the making of this collaborative experiment will no doubt have inspired all the participants and opened up their creative process in some way or other. So everyone's a winner, and nobody had to die.
I've heard the follow-up instalment already, due next week, and I'll be posting a link to that because it's actually even better.

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