Published Jan 20, 2016Light in the Attic has announced it's putting the shine on yet another under-the-radar treasure, this time by delivering a reissue of Memphis, TN proto-new age musician Gimmer Nicholson's 1968 debut, Christopher Idylls. The album gets its first-ever vinyl release February 19.
A press release explains that Nicholson had been a Memphis studio musician since the early '60s, playing with the likes of Furry Lewis to William Eggleston, but Christopher Idylls would be his first solo album. Inspired by folk and classical music, the record was tracked at the iconic Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Terry Manning (Big Star, Led Zeppelin), who called Nicholson "one of the world's most enigmatic people."
Manning added that he believed Nicholson, who passed away in 2000, had written the material while staring out at the Pacific Ocean on a trip out west. The Memphis sessions found the artist experimenting with delay pedals, creating a series of layered loops.
It had been due to be the first full-length release from Ardent Records, but "there were understandable concerns about the size of audience" for the album. It's added that Nicholson himself had been unsure of the results, as he "didn't like the original mixes or the sleeve and eventually decided he didn't want the album released at all."
Though it was unreleased for decades, the songs made the rounds in the underground, and were said to have inspired future Big Star artist and fellow Memphis native Chris Bell.
A CD release of Christopher Idylls was delivered in 1994 through Lucky Seven Records, but this will be the first time the record will hit turntables. The reissued also comes with liner notes featuring interviews with "key players" in the creation of the LP.
You can sample a bit of its inspired, new age-styled tranquility via a stream of the tape-warped "Charon's Crossing," which you'll find below.
1. Millenial Harbinger
2. Charon's Crossing
3. Red And White Light Ship
4. Hermetic Waltz
5. Venus Cumulus