Exposé Online banner

Savant — Artificial Dance
(RVNG Intl. ReRVNG07, 1984/2015, 2LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-08-30

Artificial Dance Cover art

Artificial Dance gives us the entire original Savant LP plus seven additional tracks from singles and so on. This welcome reissue brings to mind a number of thoughts. First is the fact that when The Neo-Realist (At Risk) was first released in 1983, it was at the cutting edge of music and music technology. Second is the fact that it still sounds as fresh in 2015 as it did 32 years ago. Third is the obvious similarity with My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Kerry Leimer’s work in Savant is more spare and abstract than Byrne and Eno’s, with less reliance on live percussion instruments, but the use of sampled voices is similar, as well as the funk feel of many of the rhythms. Fourth is the observation that in the early 80s, innovation wasn’t just happening in New York, London, and Berlin, it was going on in Seattle, and probably other places as well, though some of the music has been lost to us (so far). In listening to this music today, in an era when sampling is so common and simple as to be unremarkable, it’s easy to forget how hard it was to do 30 years ago, cutting bits of tape, splicing them into loops, physically arranging them into pieces of music. The fact that Leimer accomplished this with such musical results is nothing short of amazing, and the further fact that it stands up against anything produced in the digital cut-and-paste era is something like genius. Far from being a mere historical curiosity, Artificial Dance is a great listen, both intellectually stimulating and entertaining – what more could you ask for?


Filed under: Archives, 2015 releases, 1984 recordings

Related artist(s): K Leimer / Savant, Dennis Rea, Marc Barreca

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ray Charles - Ô Genio Live in Brazil – Not long after releasing one of the signpost LPs of modern pop crossover, Ray Charles took his big band to Brazil and filmed two television programs featuring his live stage set. Charles was just as...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues