Album Review

Flaming Tunes – “Flaming Tunes” – [Life and Living Records]

lombard   9/22/2009   A Library, CD

Originally released as a cassette in 1985, this self-titled release by UK-based project Flaming Tunes sounds as intriguing in 2009 (this reissue came out in April) as it must have sounded nearly 25 years ago. The main players are Gareth Williams and Mary Currie (along with many others) and this project was meant to be a departure from Williams’ previous experimental project This Heat.

Although at times it seems clear that this was created in the 1980s, much of it feels timeless. Depending on the track, you might hear bleeps, buzz, piano, clarinet, casio, guitar, drums, whistles, fiddle, bells, tape, flute or voice. Some pieces are a bit peppier with warbling vocals; whereas others seem deeply influenced by Gareth Williams’ travels in India (especially “A to B”). “Raindrops from Heaven” is infused with sounds of not only raindrops and insects, but also prominent percussion. It all ends with a pretty piece, “Generous Moon,” with male and female vocals that was inspired by the writings of Sylvia Plath.

Gareth Williams died in 2001 and upon the reissue of their Flaming Tunes release this year, his former band mates have been sharing stories about him and their musical projects on the Flaming Tunes website.

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