Seasonally Affective: A Piano Magic Retrospective 1996-2000
2CD Album (rgirl31)
Released October 22, 2001
Piano Magic began as a hobby in a Muswell Hill spare room in Summer 1996 but grew legs when Glen Johnson sent a demo to Che Records who released it as it stood. "Wrong French" won the heart of John Peel’s night owl audience and that of Melody Maker who awarded it Single Of The Week back when it meant something. Since then, Piano Magic has blossomed into a sort of shady members only club that's allowed the likes of Darren Hayman (Hefner), Simon Rivers (Bitter Springs), Peter Astor (The Wisdom Of Harry) through it's doors, most notably on 1999's "Low Birth Weight" album. Over their releases for 15 or so labels between '96 and the present day, Piano Magic have bastardised Kraftwerkian smallbeat industrialism ("Popular Mechanics"), deformed regal Baroque pop ("A Trick Of The Sea") and miscarriaged odes of sorry to the war dead ("Artists' Rifles"). They've also played 48 concerts, gotten medium-to-big in Spain (headlining a main stage at this year’s Benicassim Festival) and, most recently, signed in blood with 4AD (their soundtrack to Bigas Luna's "Son De Mar" movie leaked out in August).
“Seasonally Affective” collects all Piano Magic a-sides and b-sides between 1996 and 2000 including their very first recordings, now deleted, for Che, Wurlitzer Jukebox and Piao! – labels the band has outlived. It also makes the obscurities for tiny European labels like Acetone, Debut and Alice in Wonder easily accessible for the first time. Rarer than rare is “Sketch For Joanne” – a track for Dutch radio station VPRO’s Xmas compilation – of which only 50 copies were made.
The band's now-permanent members : Glen Johnson, Miguel Marin, Alasdair Steer and Jerome Tcherneyan are currently working on a new album for release on 4AD early next year.
- 01. Wrong French
- 02. Non-Fiction
- 03. General Electric With Fairy Lights
- 04. Wintersport / Cross Country
- 05. Angel Pie / Magic Tree
- 06. Magnetic North
- 07. For Engineers A
- 08. For Engineers AA
- 09. The Fun Of The Century
- 10. The Sharpest Knife In The Drawer
- 11. Industrial Cutie
- 12. I Am The Sub-Librarian
- 13. Music For Rolex
- 14. Music For Annahbird
- 15. Music For Wasps
- 16. Me At 19
- 17. How Does It Feel?
- 18. French Mittens
- 19. The Biggest Lie
- 20. Amongst The Books, An Angel
- 21. C'est Un Mauvais Présage Lorsque Ton Aureole A Tombe
- 22. There's No Need For Us To Be Alone
- 23. The Canadian Brought Us Snow
- 24. Sketch For Joanne
- 25. My Password Is A Dead Aunt's Name