RIYL: Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Cluster, 4th World Music, Extraterrestrial Musicology.

The first - and only - Craig Leon-approved reissue of his two solo albums Nommos and Visiting.  Craig Leon’s seminal synthesizer albums Nommos and Visiting are finally re-editioned in definitive form as the Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 for RVNG Intl.’s archival series. Issued respectively by John Fahey’s Takoma record label in 1980 and Leon’s Arbitor private press in 1982, Nommos and Visiting were the twin brainchildren of studio wizard Craig Leon. Leon’s production was pivotal in realizing the debut recordings by Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Suicide. While those albums broke ground in new worlds of sound, Leon’s own debut album was arguably, if not literally, more alien. 

Vinyl Double LP £22.99 RERVNG04LP

2LP on RVNG Intl.

  • Includes download code
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Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1: Nommos / Visiting by Craig Leon
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9/10 Brian 25 July 2014

There's been quite a bit of controversy around this definitive re-issue of Floridian producer Craig Leon's two ambient-primitive "synthesizer folk" masterpieces. Known primarily as a mastermind behind some seminal NY punk/new-wave albums in the 70s, his penchant for creating hypnotic, simple and effective new-age electro and warm cosmic grooves has not gone unnoticed. Both these albums are early 80s electronic benchmarks that will appeal to anybody that enjoys the warm analogue wonderment of, say, Chris and Cosey, early Human League and New Order by way of Brian Eno and Jah Wobble.

The back story behind his inspiration is widely reported, his close friendship with folk visionary John Fahey well documented, as the counter-culture classic 'Nommos' came out on his Takoma label. Our Phil actually got me hooked on the bloody thing at Christmas, his glowing review is to be viewed here.  Apparently, Craig was not happy with the Superior Viaduct re-issue of 'Nommos'. The label licensed it from the current owners of the Takoma back catalogue but because of Mr. Leon's disapproval (he wanted them to use his painstaking re-recording from 2009 - presented here) a stink ensued. Seems they refused and used perfectly adequate archive tapes rather than the original master (which is totally lost). The SV press sounds amazing to me though so don't go seeing it as a bootleg like some hysterical fools. It's just not "officially sanctioned" by the artist, his powers denied due to bollocksey trans-Atlantic licencing issues.

Basically, my waffle can be interpreted as a plea for you all to buy both 'Nommos' and this new lavish twin set that includes the equally mesmerising, tranquil and playful 'Visiting', an album he describes as a continuation of the themes so lovingly explored on the preceding year's début. Personal and involving music for dreamers and cosmic travellers. These RVNG anthologies are really becoming quite something.


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