Thursday, April 1, 2021

My Bloody Valentine reissue "Loveless", "Isn't Anything" & "MBV" on Domino Records UK: May 21 | "Kevin Shields on My Bloody Valentine's Return: Time Is ‘More Precious’" | The New York Times

The consensus is that shoegaze and the concurrent sounds of dreampop were born of two bands. These are considered to be Robin Guthrie and Elizabeth Fraser's Cocteau Twins in the early 1980s, and A.R. Kane, the British duo whom The Guardian credits as having "Invented Shoegaze without Really Trying". Representative of their influence, decades later both can be seen ranking highly on Pitchfork's "The 30 Best Dreampop Albums of All Time". Not limited to the post-punk and indie rock era of it's genesis, both shoegaze, and it's dreampop offshoot, are going through a renaissance this decade with new bands stepping into the forum. The telltale distortion-soaked melodies, and submerged vocals can be heard in the music of 21st century bands originating from destinations as far flung as Russia and New Zealand. On the other side of the globe from the sound's UK origins, a new generation of shoegaze is currently exploding across the south pacific, detailed in The Guardian's "'A Language We Use to Say Sentimental Things': How Shoegaze Took Over Asia". At the head of this renaissance, many of the genre's most influential and formative acts have returned from extended hiatus, not only touring, but with new and relevant material. To begin with, it was improbable that Slowdive would not only reform to tour, but produced one of the greatest albums of their career. Other unlikely returns have been seen in Robert Hampson touring with LOOP, the one-time-only North American visit from Lush's brand of 4AD dreampop, and live shows and some of the first new material heard in decades from The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Ride. The Guardian's "Shoegaze: The Genre that Could Not be Killed", and New York Times' "Shoegaze, the Sound of Protest Shrouded in Guitar Fuzz, Returns", best encapsulating this contemporary resurgence. Second only to the decade of the genre's origin, it's a great time for listeners avid for more of shoegaze melancholic melodicism and blissed-out fuzz. For those just now entering the neon torrent for the first time, you'd not go far wrong beginning with The Guardian's "Shoegaze: A Beginner's Guide", and the near-comprehensive book and compilation the Cherry Red label have assembled, "Still in a Dream: The Story of Shoegaze 1988-1995".

The most unprecedented of these returns was seen in the four US domestic tours since the 2007 reformation of the definitive shoegaze band, My Bloody Valentine. The band's guitarist and composer Kevin Shields has since promised forthcoming material, following on the heels of their first new album in 22 years in 2013. All of this was initiated with a series of interviews beginning with Shields' admission to The Quietus that, "Not Doing Things Is Soul Destroying", in which he shares the details of the protracted process and decades of delays involved in My Bloody Valentine's recent remasters. Speaking further with The Guardian on how the period after the 1991 album was a series of derailing setbacks involving, among other things according to Shields, the dangers of chinchilla ownership. And yet, those trials and tribulations only hint at the complexity behind the development of 2013's "m b v" album. Its creation through a relocation, rebuilding the studio, and a meticulously obsessive, perfectionist work ethic as detailed in Mike McGonigal's 33 1/3 book on "Loveless". A new chapter in this near-epic of persistence and refinement began this week with the independent label Domino securing the rights to reissue their back catalog in the United Kingdom. These will be in newly remastered editions, with the details as supplied by Domino; “Isn’t Anything" and "Loveless" have been mastered fully from analog for the deluxe LP editions, and also mastered from new high definition uncompressed digital sources for standard LPs, with each being made available widely for the first time ever. Fully analog cuts of "m b v" will also be available on deluxe and standard LPs globally for the first time. As well as a deluxe CD edition of the  "EPs and Rare Tracks 1988-1991", anthology." Shields himself offering details to the New York Times on the long and circuitous road taken to this destination, creative work throughout the pandemic, and the promise of new recordings on the horizon, "Kevin Shields on My Bloody Valentine’s Return: Time Is ‘More Precious’".