Boomkat Product Review:
Remastered selection of post punk peaches, packaged with an 11x11” double-sided insert featuring liner notes, lyrics and photos
“Lives of Angels was the brainchild of Gerald O’Connell from London, England. At the end of the 1970s, O’Connell had been working on material for Mystery Plane, a band that included his wife Catherine on keyboards and backing vocals. In 1980 the pair of them left to form Lives Of Angels and focus on O’Connell’s own songs, which he felt were more “oblique, atmospheric and evocative” than the narrative style and social commentary of Mystery Plane. The result sounds both of its time, comfortably nestling under the gloomy clouds of British post-punk and goth, and oddly out of time; its homemade quality placing it outside of obvious chronological signifiers as the motorik riffs and spartan drum patterns loop over and over to infinity.
O’Connell was unimpressed by the musical offerings of the early ’80s (with the exception of New Order, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, he notes), instead drawing from San Francisco psychedelia, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, Congolese guitarist Dr. Nico and the full pantheon of krautrock (especially Amon Düül II, whose song ‘Archangels Thunderbird’ contains the line, “There is no elevator to Eden but a hole in the sky”). Keyboards and some vocals were provided by Catherine, who also acted as editor, making changes to the arrangements or pointing out inappropriate drum patterns (hence her credit in the sleeve notes as “percussion censor”). “Elevator to Eden” was originally released in 1983 on cassette by Color Disc and reissued on vinyl in 2012 on Dark Entries, in slightly condensed form. ‘Hole In The Sky’ is an 11-track compilation of material from the Lives of Angels archives. Including two tracks from the original Elevator To Eden’ cassette omitted from our vinyl reissue, two tracks from Color Disc compilations and 7 previously unreleased tracks. This compilation features the very earliest Lives of Angels recordings “Call Moscow” and “Somebody Else” as well as the final composition from 1986 “The Infinite Corridor” plus original mixes of “After Dark” and “Look Out Kid” different than the versions on the ‘Color Supplement’ compilation. ‘Hole In The Sky’ is an impressive example of early ’80s home recording; a DIY interpretation of the elegance and ambition of the previous decade’s krautrock.”