When I was young (doesn’t mean that I’m old now) I used to have this habit to buy every release by different labels, 4-AD was one of them.
Regarding it now, it all seems a bit weird as after all it has more to do with collecting than the music itself but having said that, if you ask me to come up with one bad release from 4-AD it’d be a rather tough question.
One of those little bands that came to me was Ultra Vivid Scene. I remember those days when I saw Ultra Vivid Scene perform “The Mersey Seat” on Snub TV (perhaps the best musicshow the BBC ever had if you don’t count Whistle Test) and I immediately got hooked by these fuzzguitars that lend everything from Jesus & The Mary Chain.
Ultra Vivid Scene featured different bandmembers throughout their career but all by all it can be seen as the musical outfit from Kurt Ralske.
They never got big and after 3 albums the band split up, even if the duet with Kim Deal (Special one) was their moment of fame.
Despite their varied sound, it was clear that after the 2nd album “Joy 1967-1990” the thrill was gone. It never was so good as their debutalbum “Ultra Vivid Scene” that was released in 1998.
This whole album is a proof of a genius songwriter who could pack his music in a wall of sound, a pre-shoegazing album if you want. Funny thing, is that their sounds comes quite close to the newest darlings from 4-AD, Big Pink.
Apart from being a brilliant record, the sleeve is one of the most beautiful things Vaughan Oliver has done.
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