Drag City to reissue Red Krayola albums on vinyl

Drag City to reissue Red Krayola albums on vinyl

With a career spanning over four decades, The Red Krayola (also sometimes known as The Red Crayola) are one of the longest-lived experimental outfits of all time, and they’re hugely influential: Spacemen 3, Pere Ubu, The Minutemen, Galaxie 500, and Slovenly are declared fans. Starting their career in the late 1960s as a psychedelic freak-out band, The Red Krayola have evolved through all shades of art-damaged music, including conceptual works, post-punk, and noise rock. But it’s always been difficult to find their albums, excepting perhaps their 1967 debut The Parable of Arable land. Luckily, Drag City is going to fix that when it reissues four of the band’s albums: Corrected Slogans, Black Snakes, Malefactor, Ade, and Amor and Language.

These LPs cover a good chunk of the group’s trajectory, from 1976’s Corrected Slogans, the Red Krayola’s formal reactivation as an art-rock entity, to 1995’s EP Amor and Language, where the Krayolas flexed their post-rock muscles with an extended all-star lineup including Jim O’Rourke, Tortoise’s John McEntire, George Hurley from The Minutemen, and David Grubbs. The Red Krayola’s ability to phagocyte younger fans wasn’t new, as 1983’s Black Snakes shows, with the band welcoming Pere Ubu members into their numbers to tackle post-punk. Conceptually transgressive works are a constant for the group, too, with the German-released Malefactor, Ade showcasing a collaboration between guitarist (and founding member) Mayo Thompson and visual artist (and occasional Krayola member) Albert Oehlen. But in sheer experimental boldness, nothing beats the bizarre beauty of Corrected Slogans, an infamously outré work concocted along the Art & Language conceptual art collective. Much more/less than a rock album, Corrected Slogans is a deconstructive exercise of musical ineptitude, as close to a sound-essay on the possibilities of the avant-garde as it gets (you’ll hear Trotsky’s ideas recited next to a madrigal, and Harriet Martineau’s dispute Coleridge atop a bar room piano).

Evidently, there’s a lot left to discover when it comes to The Red Krayola, a seminal band very few have had a chance to hear. Having released most of the group’s albums on CD in the 1990s, Drag City finally catches up with itself to put out vinyl versions of these unsung classics. The five albums will be out April 21, via Drag City.

• The Red Krayola: http://www.dragcity.com/artists/the-red-krayola
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

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