quinta-feira, 11 de abril de 2013

Teenage Filmstars

Teenage Filmstars (TF) is one of the most curious (and still largley unknown) Shoegaze acts from the 1st generation. Its birth happened not during the mid-late '80, as most bands of the genre, but in 1979 (!), by the hands of Edward Ball and his old school friends, releasing a stream of weird Pop Rock songs in a independent way (one of these songs was mistook for a tribute to John Lennon right after his death). Despite all the buzz, Ed Ball changed his band's name to The Times, releasing only a single album at 1985. 

However, Ed Ball took the world by surprise when he signed to Creation Records and came back with TF in 1992 and released some of the craziest Shoegaze albums even by current standards. Star (1992), aka Lift Off Mit Der Teenage Filmstars, features a Shoegaze/Noise Pop verve that doesn't deny the influences of Loveless (maybe this is the first record heavily inspired by Loveless ever made) but the taste for experimentalism from Mr. Ball went to higher levels than Shield's, if that's possible! Motorcycle zooms, twitter of birds, tape loops, strange whirring strings, even weirder piano lines, early Industrial-Electronic music influences and almost unlistanable drum patterns covered by woozy, blurred, blown-out and swirling guitar lines are used throughout the album, making Loveless sounds almost "orthodox" comparing to the fuzzy sonic carnival of Star.
The following record, Rocket Charm, is even crazier: every song was put backwords (except the drumming) with little regard to stereo placement and instrumentation levels. While the first half of the album is pure Shoegaze/Noise madness, the second half consists of moody and obscure Dark Ambient/Trip Hop/early Industrial/Ethnical/World Music (!!) pieces made with such quality that one wouldn't tell it's the same band of the beginning of the record!
The last effort, 1997's Buy Our Record Support Our Sickness, shifted the shoegazer's focus to a '60-'70 Avant-garde, psychedelic approach (everything recorded backwards too, of course!). 

Therefore, it's not a coincidence that Ball was regarded by Kevin Shields as "A sensitive soul from another planet. A modernist musical alchemist". He sure was. Just take a look at his other works here and you can have a glimpse of Ball's almost unreachable creative's power, although it looks like he's not making music anymore, just playing occasional shows under The Times name. And that's why his name should never be forgotten and his work should be in everyone's ear. Star and Rocket Charm are offered right below for downloading, and as soon as I get my hands in "Buy Our Record...", you'll have it in this same page too. 



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