Exposé Online banner

Schwartzarbeit — James Gordon's Story
(FGBG 4094.AR, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01

James Gordon's Story Cover artAn entirely instrumental concept album about a burned out musician who spends his life indoors in boredom, and eventually works through it all with a fresh approach to his music. Not a very elaborate concept, but it does indeed represent the flow of the music on this brand new album by this German band that hasn't been heard from since the late 70s. The band is a four piece (guitar/keys/bass/drums) and the basic sound here is very melodic and lush, with some guitar pyrotechnics and other diversions - perhaps comparable to Camel at times. The compositions are not difficult, speedy, or particularly complex - and for some listeners who demand a high degree of complexity in the music, this may be a minus - but its strength lies more in melodics and generally tasty arrangements that tend to make for excellent listening that is at once progressive, visionary and satisfying on many levels. The album opens with "Non-Stop Movies," a funky bottom-heavy track with a simple guitar line and some pyrotechnic outbursts of Hackett-esque lead with symphonic keys backing. Two more tracks are a bit more low key, primarily keyboard driven, and musically relate a long period of depression in Gordon's life. The album changes gears at track four: "A Summer Holiday Film" is a two-part acoustic guitar based adventure with light keyboards backing, with a simple yet embracing melody line - like a children's song - reminiscent of Anthony Phillips or even Leo Kottke. With "The Change of an Internal Idea" things really start moving, with a more powerful approach, representing Gordon's soul-searching. "The Outburst" is a bit more accessible, with its very repetitive beat and few breaks, yet in this writer's mind is probably the weakest track on the album overall. One more acoustic guitar based track ("The Silent Fields After") leads in to "The Finale," a slow building wall of keys and searing guitar leads that may remind of Meddle period Floyd. Three bonus tracks are included, two solo based pieces and a very strange, heavily distorted guitar track. In all, a good album that most should enjoy.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Schwarzarbeit

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Lesli Dalaba / Fred Frith / Eric Glick Rieman / Carla Kihlstedt - Dalaba Frith Glick Rieman Kihlsted – Another super group of improvisers meet at the crossroads with this collection of seven dialogs. Fred Frith is well known to our readers as a proprietor of real time inspirational chaos while Lesli...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues