Release date: 9/15/2023
Limited edition of 500.
Baroque post-rock classic’s first time on vinyl since its original release in 2000.
2. No Closure
3. A Return to the Sea
4. 1:22 01:24
5. You and John Are Birds
6. The Index
8. Century Schoolbook
10. Artists' Rifles
Originally released on Rocket Girl in 2000, Piano Magic’s third album proper heralded a seismic and surprising shift away from its more electronic predecessors, ‘Popular Mechanics’ and ‘Low Birth Weight.’ ‘Artists’ Rifles’ is Piano Magic’s first band-band album and marks their debut, actual recording studio appearance. Improvised on the spot and produced/recorded over just five days by John A. Rivers (Dead Can Dance, Felt), at his Woodbine St Studios in Leamington Spa, stylistically, the record could feasibly be described as the first (only?) baroque post-rock record, utilising as it does, consciously or otherwise, influences as broad as Bach and Codeine.
For ‘Artists’ Rifles’ the core of Glen Johnson (vocals/guitars/keyboards), John Cheves (guitars), Paul Tornbohm (bass) and Miguel Marin (drums/percussion) were augmented by guests Caroline Potter (vocals) and Adrienne Quartly (cello).
The success of ‘Artists’ Rifles,’ particularly in Spain, kickstarted a wealth of touring possibilities and over the next 16 years, the band toured all over Europe. It also caught the attention of 4AD Records, for whom they signed to the following year.
This 2023 vinyl re-pressing honours the original (Matt Dornan) sleeve design and beautiful photography of Royal Artillery Memorial (Hyde Park, London), by John Cheves of the band.
“Classic English folk music for the 21st century” – Record Collector
“Glen Johnson and cohorts explore a doomed English romanticism, boldly linking contemporary romantic mores with the lost generation of 1914 – 18…. strangely it works….” – The Wire
“Another endearingly odd record, drifting along the seawall between the macabre and melancholy. This is the work of 4AD obsessives who have learnt to love electronica.” - Q
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