Monday, March 8, 2010

Black Thirteen - BIRD light

It's been more than a year since my last Black Thirteen post. Which makes sense seeing how the band is on a pseudo-hiatus. However the group recorded so much during its active period that I am still in possession of a wealth of unheard material. One of the best and certainly most unusual pieces of forgotten B13 is this little record.

As many of you know, the classic B13 line-up consists of Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose and myself. We always welcomed collaborators with open arms and none more so than Jessica Collins (Née Calleiro) and on this record she played with us, recorded it and then went on mix and edit the session, basically recreating Black Thirteen in her own image. Which we later found out was vastly superior to our own image.

So what you get here are six tracks pulled together from two different sessions, four from an initial set which featured Simon, Jessica, and me. And two tracks from a second session, (lost due to hard drive failure) which (thankfully) features the inclusion of Wesley Rose.

Those familiar with Jess's BERU work will recognize her incredible cut-up/collage abilities employed to very subtle effect here. (Those NOT familiar with her Beru work will kindly stop reading and familiarize yrself now.) And those familiar with Black Thirteen's other records will probably notice the sometimes too-crisp aspect of our low-fi, all-improv approach has been dully soaked in reverb and mellowed out like a lot, turning all of our guitars into this floating pillow for Simon wonderful voice.

Jess just told me she thinks this record is some of the best work she's ever done. I feel pretty strongly about it myself and I know that Simon and Wesley do also. In fact really the only the thing to complain about is the shoddy craftsmanship of Western Digital and their "My Book" hard drive which failed out of nowhere and caused the rest of the session with Wesley to be possibly lost forever and made the resulting record a mere 23 minutes. Don't worry though you'll want to hear it twice in a row.

Simon Sharp sang lead vocals on all tracks and played an acoustic guitar.

Jessica Collins sang backing vocals and whistled sometimes and played a keyboard sometimes and also an acoustic guitar.

Wesley Rose played acoustic guitar on tracks 3 & 5.

Ben Collins played electric guitar on all tracks

and a sample of Joseph Calleiro drumming was used on one song.

Recorded, mixed, edited by Jessica

All songs collectively improvised by the members.

Album photo of Bella, taken by Jessica.

Download the album HERE


Lacey said...

This is, and always will be, one of my favorite albums.

B.DavisCollins said...

yay! I'm so happy to hear that. I really am proud of this record and I'm overjoyed to hear that you are too.