Over there, a woman writhing in a bag. Upstairs, a video installation depicting rampant nudity, while another artist paints himself blue as a protest against Vietnam. There’s something endearingly dated about this record, a “sound collage” commissioned to accompany Peter Blake’s exhibition at the Liverpool Tate. Unsurprisingly, [a]Paul McCartney[/a] orchestrated the whole thing, and his idea of greeting the electronic future head-on hasn’t really evolved since he predicted [a]Radiohead[/a]’s fame-angst by pretending to be Stockhausen for a bit all those years ago. Not even the extension of a royal invitation to [a]Super Furry Animals[/a] and Youth to collaborate can stop the whole project from sounding like it’s heading down UFO [I](obscure ’60s psychedelic club – Ed)[/I] later on.
Of course, in keeping with the high concept, ‘Liverpool Sound Collage’ should really be judged in terms of functional art. Doubtless as you wander through The Liverpool Tate’s white spaces, wondering how Robbie Williams was included alongside Claes Oldenburg and Kurt Schwitters, the babble of field-recordings and loops would be suitable ambient noise. In the less rarefied surroundings of your own home – Sunday papers, biscuits and CD cases making your own individual …Collage – it’s less symbiotic. The Super Furries‘ track ‘Peter Blake 2000’ is like spending an eternity in the company of an over-enthusiastic drum tech; Youth‘s ‘Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now’ sounds about as exciting as the title. Surprisingly, it’s McCartney‘s ‘Plastic Beetle’ that comes off best; using tapes of The Beatles made between 1965-69 and Liverpudlian field recordings, he mixes buoyant loops, Mercury Rev-style zitherings and interjections of, [I]”John’s broken a string”,[/I] to oddly moving effect.
Still, not something you would want to devote large chunks of your time and reality to. Cut in. Cut up. Cut out.