Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Where's Runnicles Album of the Week - Terminal, by Peter Gregson

I realise it's been so long since I last did an Album of the Week that the very concept has taken on a massive dollop of irony; unfortunately, international festivals and the like have got in the way doing it as regularly as I had planned.  And, to be honest, this one is a bit of a cheat.  It's not Terminal isn't a superb album, it absolutely is; indeed it is one of the best I've heard this year and thoroughly deserves having the Album of the Week badge slapped on it.  However, normally in these posts I make a passionate argument for why I think an album is so special and pick out a few of the great things about it.

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I'm not going to do that for the very simple reason that I already have.  Back in June, I wrote a review extolling its many virtues and rather than repeat myself, I'm simply going to suggest you read it if you haven't already.

What has changed since June is that Terminal is now widely available: as a lossless download from Bandcamp, from iTunes (if you prefer that sort of thing) and, most crucially from the point of view of this segment, on Spotify, meaning you can have a listen (though, as ever, if you find you love it, I'd urge you to buy it, as it's my understanding that the royalties paid by Spotify are pretty paltry).  In some ways it's a pity that Steve Reich's Cello Counterpoint, hasn't made it to these new releases of the album.  On the positive side it does mean the remaining six tracks are pure Gregson (with producer and co-composer Milton Mermikides).  The result makes for interesting listen - much more introspective and consistent in style.  The technically demanding and acrobatic Cello Counterpoint is a remarkable piece, and Gregson gave it a fine performance on the original (and one that deserves to see the light of day more widely), and yet one could strongly argue that Terminal is a better album without it, in the sense that it is a more artistically consistent statement; it has a little more of that sense of flow that makes for a really great album.

The album also has a new cover, making three since the original Society of Sound release.  Personally, I prefer the picture used above (for the Bandcamp issue) - brown paper doesn't really say Terminal to me (of course, once you've bought and downloaded it you can set whatever you like as the artwork).

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That said, I would chose it over the Society of Sound cover (below).  Not that the cover makes much difference, what matters is the music, and that's fantastic.  So head on over to Spotify and have a listen and hopefully you'll hear what makes Terminal my album of the week.

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I promise it won't be so long before the next album of the week and, furthermore, that it will be accompanied by a full, freshly written for the occasion, post.

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