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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Sometimes God Hides: The Young Persons' Guide To Disciplne CD (album) cover


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5 stars I was extremely surprised to see that this album, released in 1996 as a sample of the DGM stable's work, was not in the archives. I am very pleased to put that right.

This album demonstrates just what a wide body of artists and exceptional works have appeared on this label, founded, of course, by Robert Fripp, over the years.

There are a total of 23 tracks and I won't test everyone's patience by reviewing them all, but there are certainly some highlights. The King Crimson selection is very representative, and I especially rate highly the live versions of Red (from B'BOOM) and Epitaph (from Epitaph:Live in 1969, and which remains my favourite KC track). The former moves along at a blistering rate and really has to be heard to be believed.

Peter Hammill has a couple of tracks, and I especially enjoyed the acapella A Better Time from X My Heart, his debut on the label - this highlights just what an inventive and fine vocalist the man is.

Adrian Belew, some might be surprised to learn, is also capable of more mellow and thoughtful moments, as opposed to the majority of his KC work, and this is very well demonstrated by Burned by the Fire We Make, a live performance from The Acoustic Adrian Belew. It is, of course, about global warming, before the subject became anywhere remotely popular, and is exceptional.

The standout track for me, though, is The Third Star by Trey Gunn from his album of the same name. It is filled with native American sounds and vocals, and I swear that if anyone hearing this doesn't rush out to buy the whole album as a result of hearing this, then they must be dead - it's that good.

Listeners can marvel at the exceptional playing of the Californian Guitar Trio, both on their own and in league with Fripp, and the latter's solo Sometimes God Hides is the standout of the various pieces written and performed by him. Ambient, with lush keyboards, and thoughtful as the subject matter deserved, this is another standout track.

I cannot see that this is available still on the DGM site, but you can certainly still get it from Amazon and other retailers. I got it from a late, and very much lamented, independent record shop in Swansea, Wales, some years ago. A sequel, Sometimes God Smiles, was later released, and I will add this to the database in the forthcoming week.

For those who wish to explore the world of King Crimson beyond the familiar, and listen to more ambient and eclectric prog, I would describe this as an essential LP. Superb musicianship, intelligent music, from a great range of artists. Buy it - you won't regret it.

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Posted Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Review Permalink

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