steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"'Till Next: The Ken Clinger Tribute Album" CDR

Cut And Paste

Genres: lo-fi, home-taper

Cut And Paste
PO Box 152
Green, OH 44232

Aug 12 - 25 2002

Most of our readers probably haven't heard of Ken Clinger, the home-taper king, and to them a tribute album about such a character may seem a little daft. However, those who know of his music will think otherwise. While he probably hasn't had much of an influence on the state of mainstream music as it is seen today, Clinger is recognized as a lo-fi pioneer, one of the few brave souls who began to record their very own bedroom diddlings and trade them with people all around the globe.

As one would expect from such a venture, this album is brimming in creativity, with each band adding something to their own favourite Clinger tracks. Not only that, three of the artists chose to write their own contributions, playing songs about Clinger, instead of cover versions of his work. One such artist is Dino Dimuro, whose creepy "Closet" combines dark, creepy vocals with cinematic haunted house music. This track pays homage to Ken's spoken word pieces, along with his fascination with farm animals - while telling a symbolic story about how Dino was introduced into the hometaper scene by Clinger's work. Meanwhile, Dan Campau's version of the catchy "Sandra" is a neat, kitchy track, and Ray Carmen's cover of "Dopey Smiles" is a rockin' tribute with electric guitarwork and heavily modified vocals. Tom Furgas's "New Ambient Kit (For Ken)", which is not a cover version of anything, is one of the album's highlights, using synthesizers to craft a beautiful, creepy soundscape. But, "The Kitticow Boogie (in two parts)", performed by the anonymous Ken Clingers, is, in my opinion, the best track on this entire CD. A very tasteful cover, the performance sounds as if it would fit in a 1940's burlesque house - if it weren't for the topic, a kitty-cow hybrid that can both "moo an' meow".

All in all, though, this album just works as one big "thank you" to the man who helped start the friendliest scene on Earth.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 44 min 39 sec; 13 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2001]