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Aug 2014

The Hall of Legends - Breathless: Transmission 146, 2014 August 19

August 22, 2014

breathless1984.jpgWe herewith induct Breathless into the BOMBAST Hall of Legends, where they join This Mortal Coil, The Wolfgang Press, The Dub Syndicate, A.R.Kane, Little Annie, Dif Juz, Prince Far I, Coil [part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4], Billy Childish, Stereolab [charter members], and The Fall [charter members].

Some of you, I have to guess, are visiting for the first time, having been lured here by this special occasion. So--a special welcome to you. Poke around as you please. The hyperlink above will take you to a loose description of the Hall of Legends, and this page describes the "idea" of the show, such as it is. The prose you find everywhere on the site is mostly for my own entertainment, since this is my outlet; if you enjoy it, that's a nice bonus. Audio's at the bottom of the post if this is all TMI.

I'd like to think I'm past the "music reviewer" phase of my life, so "just listen" is my advice to anyone who wants to know what Breathless records sound like. Or, you can take it from Ari and file them away under "Space-Rock Melancholia," which is in the ballpark, I guess. While she sees "similarities" between the band's music and other records, I'm hard-pressed to find them [then again, the record store where I worked wasn't a Virgin Megastore in London, so maybe I've been listening to the wrong things, or not enough things]--this seems to be one of the unwritten prerequisites for Hall membership. And that the music must be "out of time" somehow.

However, my first experience of the music is rooted in a specific time. This would be the "Weird Summer" of 1987: first summer after college; reunited with "friends" from high school who now seem like "strangers," somehow; living in an apartment for the first time, and with not one but two ex-"girlfriends," all the while carrying on another ill-fated dalliance; whiling my days away at a dull job almost literally in the middle of nowhere; nonetheless not having enough money, and living on peanut butter sandwiches, it seems. My only consolation during this time was that the listening rooms at the radio station were often empty, and the records were free. Sometimes [Dif Juz, Wolfgang Press] I would search deliberately; other things [A.R.Kane, Little Annie] would fall into my lap. Breathless were one of the latter. Maybe, in my mind, I should start calling this the "Summer of Legends" and not the "Summer of Starvation," which is how I actually recall it. I was learning fast, as one hopefully does pre-twenties.

So I guess you could count me as one who's gotten through "tough" times [by First World Problem standards, anyway] with the help of this music.

breathlessglassbeadgame.jpegAs it seemed to do back in those days, time moved differently for different bands when it came to record distribution, so we got The Glass Bead Game a year late, albeit at the perfect time. Dominic talks about making music in which to lose oneself, and...YES. "Across the Water" and "All My Eye and Betty Martin," on side one, were enough. John Fryer and Blackwing aside, where on earth DID this sound come from? Not too long thereafter, a friend gave me Three Times and Waving when it came out--somehow that did make it over here quickly--and that was it, for life, I guess.

There were those two periods when the band seemed [to someone far removed] to be broken up, or on extended hiatus. But in the 1990s I was out of my mind, in graduate school. And in the oughts I was similarly chasing some ill-conceived, fruitless "professional" goal. Like a lazy Death Eater, I didn't look for Breathless when they weren't around, but was always happy when they were, and are. Remarkably--because I normally can't stand "comebacks"--Blue Moon and Green to Blue are two of their best. Even better, the margins are so thin it doesn't matter. The "worst" Breathless record, whatever that might be, surpasses most of what's out there to begin with. I look forward to 30 more years of hearing from Lady Catharsis that I play this music too much.

Finally--I didn't know about Tristram Latimer-Sayer's circumstances until I spoke to Dominic last week. My sincere wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery for him.

BOMBAST playlist, 2014 August 19, 2100-2300:

  1. "Come Reassure Me" | Breathless | Blue Moon | Tenor Vossa
  2. "Heartburst" | Breathless | Chasing Promises | Tenor Vossa
  3. "Everything Is Us" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa
  4. "I Never Know Where You Are" | Breathless | Between Happiness and Heartache | Tenor Vossa
  5. "And So The Dream Goes On" | Breathless | Behind The Light | Tenor Vossa
  6. "Don't Just Disappear" | Breathless | Don't Just Disappear | Tenor Vossa
  7. "Stone Harvest" | Breathless | Two Days From Eden | Tenor Vossa
  8. "Is It Good News Today?" | Breathless | Three Times And Waving | Tenor Vossa
  9. "Pride" | Breathless | Two Days From Eden | Tenor Vossa
  10. "Ageless" | Breathless | Heartburst | Tenor Vossa
  11. "Across The Water" | Breathless | The Glass Bead Game | Tenor Vossa
  12. "Walk Down To The Water" | Breathless | Blue Moon | Tenor Vossa
  13. "The Next Time You Fall (Jim Sclavunos Remix)" | Breathless | Please Be Happy | Tenor Vossa
  14. "Please Be Happy" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa
  15. "The Warmest Kiss" | Breathless | Nailing Colours To The Wheel | Tenor Vossa
  16. "Just For Today" | Breathless | Green to Blue | Tenor Vossa

next time: i never know how to follow these up, so I can't tell you. Enjoy the music! --kid catharsis