It’s Cosy Inside LP Reissue
Drag City/Yoga Records October 2012
I try to get errythin I can outta my listenin times, not just the grumpy rumbles and obtuse toilings strewn about the FYC hood. And while many of us folks writin on these assorted auteurs and amateurs might see “skill” or “training” as somewhat suspect, ain’t no need to ghettoize. After all, it ain’t the tools, it’s the carpenter what makes the shed stand.
The Ives brothers behind this longstanding Woo outfit are plenty adept at their wide array of instrumental plunder. They’s chops is visible from their debut missive, Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong, through their early 1990s output; and in the humbles they did in the post-punk pen (see Five Or Six). Their ’89 effort, It’s Cosy Inside, is perhaps their best and here gets the nudge into Expedits everywhere it done truly earned. Thru 17 interwoven tracks, Woo chart hectares of previously unglimpsed zones, quietly and carefully, wearing big goofy grins.
Surely when I drop the term “new age,” many of y’all cue up a Steve Roach feetie-pajama sleepover breathing exercise and quickly open a new tab in your browser. Well, friends, it ain’t any more dirty a word than “ambient”. And when was the last time you dug out “experimental” and gained an inch? At least “new age” can sound either cultish and menacing or gauzy and nap-inducing depending how groggy you is. To put a point on this polemic, It’s Cosy Inside is about as close to prescience in these days of rebuilt analog drones and star wipes as you’re likely to find in late-80s English music. Exceptin’ a lot of the kittens batting the “spacey” and “blissed-out” yarn-wad nowadays think irony means everything’s for sale (or everything’s terrible), and Woo took it in the literal and classical sense. The same moodiness ZNR used to cast perverse shadows over Satie on their LP Barricade 3 here likewise plays with Kraftwerk, Harmonia and Cluster. Matta fact, if’n you dropped a caper like, “Woo was really an unearthed Anglo link betwixt the Kraut and NDW eras,” you’d give me buku pause. For now, it’s just a thought.
I know you ain’t yet ready to believe something so weirdly playful like this could pluck a string in this mule-piss-pumpin’ heart o’ mine, but you will. You’ll run into a copy of it at your local record hole, or maybe the Nite Jewel split 7”* released in conjunction with this impeccable re-ish, drop the loot and take ‘er home. About 10 minutes in, you’ll put down the pipe, and notice how truly weird beauty can be.
* featuring a track from a rare Woo cassette