13/03/2009

christmas in march

i just got sent an e-mail about a review that's just gone up for the christmas ep. you can see the actual thing here.

it goes like this:

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Australian record- and Netlabel 4-4-2 Music released a wonderful compilation in December 2008 I only stumbled about now. As the weather in Northern Germany is exactly like it normally is on Christmas Eve 'round here, maybe a review makes sense. "A Whale in the Manger" brings together six artists and their interpretation of Christmas carols.

Actually, this compilation is only four songs and one musical collective:

Sydney-based Telafonica start with their version of "Angels We Have Heard On High". Absolutely intriguing, the band contrasts their coldish Trip Hop / Electronica sound with the heavenly "Gloria, in excelsis Deo" hookline of the traditional carol. Wonderful voices (Magill/ Elmer), wonderful trumpets.

Second is Telafonica songstress Eliza Magill. Her version of "Joy to the World" is far more traditional, but nonetheless skilful and beautiful. In duet with the male vocals (Adrian Elmer), the whole version sounds like a light-hearted version of Low (who must be names when it comes to Christmas carols of course). Fully acoustic, intimate recording, a heartbreaker.

The Lessons in Time hails from New South Wales and deliver the lopsided part of this compilation. Pretentious on first listen, a revelation at repeated performance! Blake Wassell, the lad behind the moniker, delivers an emotional lo-fi version of "O Holy Night" and raises the hymnal potential of the original to higher power. The Australian Liger? Oh, he plays in Telafonica as well!

Eventually, Telafonica join for a last hymnal. "Good News (Sing for Joy)" I wasn't able to identify properly, but who cares? Trip Hop and electronic music-influenced Popmusic, only the female vocals fit the concept better.

Thank heavens to nethymnal.org for the spiritual guidance!

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not quite sure how nethymnal related to it (well, the lyrics to the traditional ones are there, i guess), but anyway!

2 comments:

Eliza said...

How lovely. Well, we are.

Annelise Holwerda said...

I have never read a review quite like this. I particularly enjoy the state of near-euphoric hyper-descriptiveness, to which all structure seems to exultantly sacrifice itself thereafter, injected with the first exclamation point :)