November 20, 2019
Today we’re listening to Arthur Russell, a cellist and producer from Iowa. Russell moved to New York City in 1973, when he was 22, to study classical cello, electronic music, and linguistics. This interdisciplinarity defined his career, as he went on to make avant-garde compositions, pop songs, and disco tracks. The only LP Russell put out while alive was 1986’s World of Echo. That’s a beautiful, moving, essential album (whose opening track is somewhat of a vocal warmup). Russell died in 1992 from AIDS-related illness. A posthumous collection of Russell’s demos for major labels, Iowa Dream, just came out last week. It features the acoustic guitar and pop vocals sides of Russell, but with a nostalgic, mournful sheet over it all.
Have a good Wednesday.