The Residents - Morning Music [Klanggalerie - 2021]
Morning Music is a twenty track CD release that focuses on the (conventional ) tuneful, mellow, and buoyant side of The Residents back catalogue. It’s a collection that largely darts around the project's output from between the ’90s and 2000s, though we do have bits 'n' bobs from the late ’80s/ early ’90s.
The release appears on Austria’s Klanggalerie- who of course have a good history of releasing more rarer/ out-of-print titles from the eyed-balled ‘n’ top-hatted avant popsters. The Cd- which features a close-up picture of crusty bread on its face- comes presented in a glossy digipak, with a steaming cup of joe with residents’ logo on, and inside a Rez hailing for coffee at an outdoor café.
The release kicks off with the instrumental track “Ozan 2-Step”( from 2010’s digital album Ozan)- the track blends sampled jigging violin’s and wailing harmonicas, with moody synth tones, and on/off head-nodding electro beats. Next, we have a prime slice of tuneful Rez in the form of “The Weatherman” (from 2002’s Demons Dance Alone) with its strolling ‘n’ mellow blend of piano keys, lulling bright vibes, subtle pop electronics, topped of course with Molly Harvey's haunting and harmonically wailing vocals.
As we move along we come to brightly sparkling vibes, moody guitar noodling, darting synth tones/ drum beat, and singing Residents sing-song to raising vocals of “Just For You”( from 2009’s Icky Flick Live). There’s the lightly bound jazzy bassline, sampled horn swoon, and tick-tock slightly ethnic percussion of the instrumental "Dollhouse"( from 2010’s Dollar General). There are tuneful and eagerly darting keys-meets-female Greek chorus of "The Touch" (an instrumental version of a track from the project 1989 album God In Three Persons). We have chugging electro beats, march organ keys, swooning syntenic string work and wavering falsetto choir of “The New Hymn(Recessional)”( from 1982’s Intermission). And finishing off proceedings in fine upbeat fashion we have "Diskomo 2000"- the projects remix / re-take of their 1980’s track- with stabbing keys, snaping ‘n’ popping drums, and layered ‘n’ darting warbling-to-wavering key hits.
All in all Morning Music is a great little collection homing in on the more approachable side of The Residents output. It nicely blends the more known album tracks, with rarer less heard stuff- making for a most consistent and enjoyable compilation.Roger Batty