New Masque shipment coming soon!
IF YOU tried to order a copy of the new ‘Masque’ reissue before Christmas and were disappointed to hear that they were all sold out, take heart – a new shipment is on its way to these shores from Germany and should be with us this very week.
In the meantime here’s a new review of the reissue in a rough translation from the current issue of Italian magazine ‘Blow Up’ to whet your appetite for the real thing.
PAUL ROLAND Masque – CD Syborgmusic – 16t – 68:52
While he has begun to carve out his out of time sound miniatures on a regular basis again (the latest, remarkable “Grimm”came out a few months ago: see issue # 162), Paul Roland continues in his meritorious do-it-yourself reprint of his whole catalogue, for the benefit of a handful of faithful devotees. In the case of this British singer-songwriter, craftmanship and attention to detail borders on obsessive perfectionism, as Roland can not resist the temptation to ‘fix’ and repair his songs, adding new vocal and instrumental tracks here and there to improve upon the original releases.
That’s the case with “Masque” as well.
Originally published in 1990, it’s one of the works Roland is more fond of: atmoshperic, Baroque folk-rock, equally divided between ethereal ballads and rhythmic rockers, tongue-in-cheek irony and cruel fantastic sketches, and rich in melodies that are as catchy as they are graceful – that’s the case with Dr. Syn Is Riding Again and I Dreamt I Stood Upon The Scaffold, the latter being a perfect example of Roland’s ability to create memorable fantastic tales in a few verses. In the rerelease, Paul replaces two songs (Grantchester Fields and the rearranged traditional Matty Groves) with as many outtakes (The Ratcatcher’s Daughter and The Sea Captain, both already published in a couple of compilation cds). He also only slightly retouches almost all of the other songs, leaving intact only Triumphs of a Taxidermist and Meet Mr. Scratch.
Purists would perhaps scratch their head, devotees won’t complain, as there are a few juicy bonus tracks. The Sporting Life is a galloping electrified folksong with lyrics in pure Regency period jargon and embellished with a kiler flute line, and the two radio session tracks with Valerie Franco are respectively a jewel of Roland’s songbook (Alice’s House) and a surprising acoustic cover of Black Sabbath’s Solitude. While perhaps not the ideal first step for discovering the magical world of mr. Roland (check the masterpiece “Danse Macabre” and the acoustic diptych “A Cabinet of Curiosities” / “Happy Families” first), this is definitely a record that could make its way into many people’s hearts.
For info contact: https://paulroland.wordpress.com.