Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Martha and the Muffins return to Danseparc twenty-five years later

After 25 years, the wait for the reissue of Martha and the Muffins’ Danseparc is over. Stockhausen collides with punk funk in an aural collage of rhythm and found sound as the second most fan requested Martha and the Muffins album gets officially reissued and digitally re-mastered 25 years after its 1983 vinyl debut.

The fourth album from the Muffins canon, the second of three production collaborations by the now legendary and critically acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel), Danseparc will be reissued by Cherry Red for the very first time on CD in the UK and Europe on Monday 4th August 2008.

The digitally remastered 25th Anniversary edition of Danseparc will be the first of two major releases from the Muffins this year. In November, the band will release their brand new studio album 'Delicate', mixed by David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Tool).

With songs written and performed by original founding Muffins, Martha Johnson (vocals, inverse guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Mark Gane (guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion and treatments), Danseparc also features the musical expertise of Daniel Lanois' sister, Jocelyne Lanois (bass), Nick Kent (drums), and the Plunderphonics' John Oswald on sax.

Hailed as their strongest collection of songs to date, this beautifully packaged 25th Anniversary Edition CD edition captures the Muffins at their creative peak.

Track Listing:

1. Obedience
2. World Without Borders
3. Walking Into Walls
4. Danseparc (Every Day It's Tomorrow)
5. Sins Of Children
6. Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing
7. Boys In The Bushes
8. What People Do For Fun
9. Whatever Happened To Radio Valve Road?

Bonus Tracks:

10. Danseparc (Every Day It's Tomorrow) (Original 12”Dance Mix)
11. These Dangerous Machines (B-side to Danseparc 12” EP)
12. Sins Of Children (Live at The Ontario Place Forum, Toronto, July 1983)

“When we worked in the studio,” reminisces Mark Gane, “Dan became the fifth member of the Muffins. Suddenly he’d play a percussion part, and then we worked on a treatment for the sound together. He constantly came up with great ideas.”

The album was digitally re-mastered during January and February 2008 by Peter J. Moore at The E Room in Toronto. Moore is best known for his production and engineering work on the Cowboys Junkies’ The Trinity Sessions album.

Danseparc 25th Anniversary Edition includes three bonus tracks including the original 12" inch dance mix of Danseparc, plus the accompanying b-side These Dangerous Machines, plus a previously unreleased live version of Sins of Children taken from the band's July 1983 concert at Toronto's Ontario Place Forum, featuring Michael Brook (guitar).

“The songs are an exciting mixture of the experimental and traditional pop,” says Liam Lacey of the Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper.

“The point of view, as Gane has said in the past, is middle class. It shows, not only in the obsessions with privacy and with personal revelation, but also in the concern with such classic Canadian literary themes as isolation and the precariousness of civilization and, at a deeper level, with sexuality and the tension between energy and order.”

“Some people frequent parks to romance each other,” observes Mark Gane, “but for others it can also be a place where you can get attacked and mugged. It’s a synthetic jungle, similar to a dance club at 3am in the morning when some people behave wildly and strive to become primitive, but don’t know how to achieve it. It’s impossible because we’re two million years ahead of the jungle.”

It’s no surprise the songs on Danseparc embody themes from the urban jungle. “When we originally recorded the album, we had an obsession with parks,” says Gane. “The concept of the park is an attempt by urban man to get to a point of naturalness again.”

Says the Globe & Mail’s Liam Lacey - “Between them, the songwriters define a dialectic, with Johnson favouring the songs about breaking down the restrictions of the world, and Gane leaning toward songs that attempt to define another kind of pleasant centre, into the almost infantile consciousness of dreams and mythology.”

“Rene Girard (the author of Violence and The Sacred) has said that cultures anxious about peace and security,” says Lacey, “are those most subject to destruction through violence, and that theme, or something like that theme, is often intimated throughout Danseparc.”

“If Johnson’s songs Obedience and Sins Of Children, delineate the social restrictions and traps,” continues Lacey, “then Gane’s Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing is the song about seeking pleasure through dreams and myths. It was inspired by Gane’s dream of walking through a park, looking at trees inhabited by copulating monkeys, merged with Indian fertility symbols carved on a rock face.

The title track, Danseparc (Every Day It’s Tomorrow), is about people in their native urban city centers: structured and fearful, and imbued with complacency about society that is deliberately evasive.

Johnson’s wry commentary on What People Do For Fun addresses rarely-mined contemporary topics with disarming precision and unassailable musicality. Gane uncovers the existential angst in everyday social situations and ignites them with abstract ideas, accentuated by irrepressibly rhythmic music.

Martha and the Muffins: Official Site - www.marthaandthemuffins.com/

Cherry Records: Official Site - www.cherryred.co.uk/