Arsenio Orteza

Arsenio is a music reviewer for WORLD Magazine and one of its original contributors from 1986. Arsenio resides in China. Follow him on Twitter @ArsenioOrteza.

Back in time

Music | New albums from memorable sources
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 2/13/20, 03:17 pm

Today Belongs to Me: Complete Recordings 1977-1980 by The Flys: The rewards of diving into complete-output excavations by long-defunct bands that never broke through seldom outweigh the effort. For this two-disc compilation, they do. Blurring the lines separating pub-rock from punk and power-pop from new wave, the clever and energetic tunes that poured forth from these too-eclectic-for-their-own-commercial-good British rockers never stood a chance in the overground.

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Peeks into deep mysteries

Music | Bill Fay’s new album works when the lyrics are solid but not when muddled
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 2/13/20, 03:12 pm

The reason that the English singer-songwriter Bill Fay descended into obscurity circa 1971 is that on neither of the two Deram albums that he had released up to that point (Bill Fay and Time of the Last Persecution) had he found a way to bring his gently apocalyptic, elliptically Christian folk-rock to life. 

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Sounds and visions

Music | Noteworthy new or recent releases
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 1/30/20, 03:58 pm

Loudspeakers by Charles Amirkhanian: Reviewing Charles Amirkhanian’s Walking Tune 21 years ago, the critic Jack Sullivan made the following observation: “This sort of thing is hard to take very seriously, but also hard to dislike.” What “this sort of thing” is is sound collage at a very high level of inventive playfulness. And what makes it “hard to dislike” is that it’s “hard to take very seriously.” In other words, it’s fun, or at least some people’s idea of fun. To determine whether it’s yours, skip to this two-disc collection’s 35-minute title suite.

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