Felt - Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2018-02-23
Felt - Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty
Felt - Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty

Those who have the original issues of these long gone gems stashed on that special shelf might consider this some sort of contradictio in adjecto in a way, coming up with a deluxe edition of something so minimalist in its concept, but they would be absolutely wrong. And here's why.

It is hard to say whether Lawrence (Heyward), when he was conceiving Felt way back in the late Seventies, was having the open, minimalist sound the band came up in its early incarnation on his mind with all those Lou Reed (Velvets) and Television obsessions in place. After all, the band was named after one word from Television's "Venus De Milo." And then he originally stated that the band's first album, Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty was to be the best British debut album ever! Don't know about that one, but he, with the help of his band and Maurice Deebank, the other guitar player in it at the time, did come up with something special. Something that would never get beyond the ecstatic response of the critics and a devoted cult following, but did keep on growing.

Listening to these reissues and particularly this debut album, one thing does become apparent. The thing with the sound Lawrence created on Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty, and that he and the band kept developing throughout the band's existence, was that it is almost impossible to pinpoint when this album has been made - in the early Eighties, Seventies, or any time up until today. And that certainly makes it special.

In its original incarnation, the sound Swell Maps producer John A. Rivers gave Felt was of a more developed lo-fi bedroom thing. Here, in its new incarnation and under Lawrence's personal guidance, that sound has been given an open airy tone, as if the blankets have been taken of your speakers, giving Lawrence's Reed/Verlaine style of cool vocals, and his and Deebank's guitar interplay another dimension. "Evergreen Dazed" and later on, for example on "I Worship The Sun" and it will become quite clear what has been achieved with the sound on these reissues.

All early Felt albums are excruciatingly brief, so these new editions have singles pinned to them. In the case of Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty, it is "Something Sends Me To Sleep" in two versions where the (Version) one, with a noticeable different production, somehow hangs out of place a bit.

I'm not sure whether this one would go under the (absolute) classics category, but could definitely find its place among those classics that have the word "lost" tagged before it.

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