Group Listening – Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works, Vol. 2 [IMPORT MILKY CLEAR VINYL]– New 12"
1 Sunset Village – Written-By – Beverly Glenn-Copeland 5:45
2 Blue Crystal Fire Clarinet – Written-By – Robbie Basho
3 Y Cwsg Written-By – Malcolm Neon 3:43
4 Hollywood Dream Trip Written-By – Syrinx 5:15
5 Take Care Written-By – Big Star 2:10
6 Camberwick Green Written-By – Freddie Phillips 1:35
7 All Of A Sudden Written-By – Laraaji 6:22
8 This Was Us Written-By – Grand River 2:52
9 Five Hundred Miles Written-By – Mamman Sani 5:56 1
0 Seeland Written-By – Neu!
Group Listening's brilliant first album, Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works, Vol.1, was a haunting, meditative and lovingly considered selection box of musical reworkings. It featured rearranged tracks by the likes of Arthur Russell, Brian Eno and Robert Wyatt. But it was also much more than that. In making this record of reimagined musical works, Stephen Black [Clarinet] and Paul Jones [Piano] were two musicians doing what all music fans do: comparing favourite tracks, turning each piece over for new meaning and developing a musical understanding of each other in the process. Fast forward a couple of years, a remix album of Vol.1, 12" What's A Girl To Do? - featuring a re-work of the Fatima Yamaha club staple - an EP of re- arrangements with Cate Le Bon from her LP Reward, a remix of Lambchop’s This Is What I Wanted To Tell You and the pair started Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.2 from an altogether different vantage point.
Taken as a whole, there's a gorgeous ambience to the record but that shouldn't be confused for Volume 2 being an ambient listen. The organic understanding that Black and Jones have of each other's processes as musicians means that the music sounds incredibly fluid, but the overall tranquility of the record is made up of dozens of small nuances. It's a puzzle that's been put together just below the surface as the duo react with a warm emotion to the songs they’ve chosen.
It’s in the way that Group Listening are able to prod, probe and contort the self-defined parameters that they've set themselves that makes Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.2 such an intriguing listen – and it’s the love and care they’ve taken over it that makes these versions entirely their own.