Given the recent ascent of Ariel Pink up a certain orifice that shan’t be named, it’s only too easy to disremember that, once in the none too distant past, the artist née Rosenberg was a bona fide avant-pop oddball with a sackful of genuinely ingenious songs to impishly splatter the world with. As latterly as his 4AD full-length of 2010, Before Today, he’s so emphatically demonstrated a nonpareil ability to impressionistically paint it a better place, and if last year’s Mature Themes tarnished his rep something rotten, then next month’s release of a series of Early Live Recordings should go some way to restoring his artistic integrity. An alluringly ramshackle revising of sisterly Fremont trio The Shaggs’ My Cutie may sound like an estranged member of Animal Collective caught in headlights cast by the luminous excellence of Atlas Sound’s Logos, but it’s instantly, indeed infinitely preferable to, say, Schnitzel Boogie.
But of the two remasters taken from Early Live Recordings thus far, it’s Tractor Man that makes the bigger impact. “I miss my life out on the shooting range” Rosenberg begins atop a fusillade of pawn shop guitars, the raw timbre to it immediately evocative of much of Parquet Courts’ largely underrated American Specialties cassette. That was then 2011, while much of Ariel’s Early Live Recordings were forged by spools churned toward the tail end of the 20th century. And so although the enigma that is Ariel Pink may have unravelled a tad in recent times, this particular release ought to reinforce his stature as one of the most influential psycho-delics of the modern-day.
Early Live Recordings is anticipated December 17th via Human Ear Music.