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The Red Krayola 


Wednesday, Oct 5 2005
The history of underground legends the Red Krayola can be split into two radically different chapters. The first ('66 to '68) is the story of a psychedelic noise-rock trio from Houston that released two beautifully mind-bending records. The second ('69 to the present) is the tale of Mayo Thompson, the founding father of the Red Krayola, who ultimately adopted the moniker for the ever-changing collection of musicians he has been working with since the dissolution of his original band. It's this second chapter that the new disc Singles (a compilation of singles) is a product of. Post-trio, having already achieved a kind of iconic status, Thompson relocated to London in the late '70s and started collaborating with some of the en vogue post-punk musicians of the day, producing such timely disco funk tunes as "Micro-Chips and Fish" and "An Old Man's Dream." Then, in the late '80s, he shifted gears and churned out some catchy Euro-style synth-pop ("Your Body Is Hot"). By the mid-'90s, he had hooked up with indie heavyweights David Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke and crafted some rather intellectually arid post-rock. So basically Thompson has remained relevant for three decades by creating music that has always reflected the fickle tastes of alternative music fans and by teaming up with hip, young underground musicians. But, in all honesty, few of these singles would be considered classics of their respective genres if it weren't for the fact that Thompson kicked some serious psychedelic ass back in the late '60s, which is to say, go blow your hard-earned cash on a copy of the Red Krayola's 1967 classic The Parable of Arable Land instead of this disc.

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Justin F. Farrar


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