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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mörglbl - Grötesk – Simply put, Mörglbl is an adept French fusion guitar, bass and drums trio. Their debut on the American Free Electric Sound label is a bit surprising since there don’t appear to be many unique...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues