Album Review

Cross, Tara – “Tara Cross 1982-89” – [Vinyl on Demand]

Max Level   1/17/2012   12-inch, A Library

A girl, her keyboards, and a cheap drum machine. Cross was based in New York during the ’80s, and released her somewhat eccentric music mostly on cassettes. This impressive 4-LP set on heavyweight vinyl collects maybe a half a dozen of those releases along with some collaborations and appearances on various compilations. There are tracks with a gently techno-ish feel, goofy new wave songs, and many nicely-layered keyboard extravaganzas. Many of the tracks remind me of Bill Nelson’s solo projects from the same time period, with perhaps a bit of Brian Eno in there too. She sings and also uses some found-sounding vocals–guys talking in French and stuff like that; maybe it’s movie dialogue? Track lengths range from about 1 minute to nearly 7 minutes. Approximately half of them are instrumental. This ambitious box set is a great historical document and if it’s your first–as it was for me–exposure to Tara Cross’s music, I encourage you to dive in and check it out. She was definitely onto something.

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