Published Mar 13, 2009Perhaps the most impressive thing about Arthur Russell is how much music this leftfield composer made in his relatively short lifetime. As we saw in the documentary Wild Combination, there are literally thousands of unreleased Russell recordings hiding out there. And not just B-side quality, outtake-type material, but genuinely great stuff. This has been repeatedly shown on posthumous collections like Another Thought, Calling Out Of Context and, most recently, on the brilliant Love Is Overtaking Me. And while Russell's new compilation The Sleeping Bag Sessions may primarily feature previously released tracks, most of it still falls in the undiscovered-gems category.
Gathering up a selection of ultra-rare, vinyl-only singles, the recently released The Sleeping Bag Sessions shines a light on Russell's disco period, featuring ten tracks put out via his own Sleeping Bag imprint from 1981 to 1986. Included are various Russell jams recorded under different aliases such as Killer Whale, Indian Ocean, Felix and, of course, Dinosaur L, which got its own reissue 24 -> 24 Music in 2007. Only one track is previously unreleased, Walter Gibbons' remix of Dinosaur L's classic floor burner "Go Bang," but unless you've spent hundreds of dollars hunting down long out-print-print vinyl, most of this material will be new to even the most diehard fans.
The Sleeping Bag Sessions is out in the shops now on CD and limited double vinyl courtesy of Traffic. Here are the tracks:
1. Bonzo Goes To Washington: "5 Minutes" (B-B-B Bombing Mix)
2. Felix: "Tiger Stripes" (Extended Version)
3. Felix: "You Can t Hold Me Down" (Extended Version)
4. Clandestine: "Radio Rhythm (S-I-G-N-A-L-S-M-A-R-T)" (Extra Cheese Mix)
5. Sounds Of JHS 126 Brooklyn: "Chill Pill" (Underwater Mix)
6. Indian Ocean: "School Bell/Tree House (Original 12-inch Version)
7. Indian Ocean: "Treehouse (Extended Bootleg Edit)
8. Dinosaur L: "Go Bang! (Walter Gibbons Mix)
9. Bonzo Goes To Washington: "5 Minutes" (R-R-R Radio Mix)
10. Clandestine: "Radio Rhythm (S-I-G-N-A-L-S-M-A-R-T)" (Dub Mix) (Killer Whale)