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Garreth Sager: Photo Credit: Chiara Meattelli
The Big Takeover is proud to premiere “Oblong Malfunctions,” the first video from the debut solo piano album from Gareth Sager, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and the founding member of The Pop Group, Rip Rig & Panic, and Head. The album, titled 88 Tuned Dreams, will be released through Freaks R Us on October 6th.
The self-produced album, comprised of fourteen melodic classical improvisations, 88 Tuned Dreams was recorded in one miraculous session at arguably the world’s most distinguished recording space; Studio One, Abbey Road.
88 Tuned Dreams is an extraordinary affirmation of the liberated punk ideals that have continually inspired Sager throughout his career. Evoking a liminal world of uncanny yet warm atmospherics, the album is pervaded by impressionistic contemplation, revealing the roots of Sager’s early connection to the works of Erik Satie, Frédéric Chopin, and Claude Debussy.
Only on “Savage Sea”, an astonishing high point of The Pop Group’s seminal debut Y, and “Echelon”, the desolate closing track on their 2015 return record Citizen Zombie, has Sager’s piano playing been as intimately and sublimely focalized as it is here. Withholding an introspective quality and invested with his own improvisational energy, these fourteen piano works are stunning low-lit invocations from one of post-punk’s most unpredictable and exploratory pioneers.
As post-punk provocateur in The Pop Group, ringleader of avant-garde jazz / art pop collective Rip Rig & Panic, and an exponent of unruly folk balladry in Head, Sager has always given free rein to artistic impulse and embraced the unexpected. An industrious collaborator and a prolific solo artist in his own right, Sager has been an unremittingly restless and versatile force throughout the post-punk era and beyond, both a dynamic presence and a true originator.
Sager reveals, “I entered Studio One, Abbey Road as a piano playing punk, I had the biggest studio in Europe at my disposal with one of the greatest pianos, and a few hours, time was of the essence. I felt the gods had opened the doors to me to be in that studio at that time so I could express the feelings of ghosts, time lost, emotions found. I was given the chance to totally express the inexpressible. This sort of venue encourages that, a brew of Erik Satie and the third Velvet Underground LP!”
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