Jim O'Rourke Eureka on LP
As far as renaissance men go Jim O'Rourke could handle the patronage of a very extended Medici family. As a producer his skills have brought out a mahogany toned richness in the work of Smog, Wilco and Sonic Youth to name his more mainstream clients. Simultaneously O'Rourke is also at home adding even more texture to the inner workings of Nurse with Wound, Merzbow and Whitehouse.
First coming to prominence in his early-20s as a member of both Illusion Of Safety and Gastr Del Sol, O'Rourke became the in demand producer/collaborator with the avant garde of an older generation: Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Crayola. However, O'Rourke also revealed a rainbow-wide pallet ensuring a reputation for a widescreen working practice that took him outside the underground. Nowhere is his breadth of vision more in evidence than the trio of solo albums recorded in quick succession at the turn of the century and released on Domino/Drag City. The Jim O'Rourke solo trilogy traces a line of heritage through Great American Music as though he were curating an O'Rourke endorsed Hall of Fame.
Bad Timing (1997) draws on the steel string drones of Robbie Basho and John Fahey and helped rehabilitate the career and kick-start the influence of Fahey (whose comeback Womblife O'Rourke produced). Eureka (1999) showcased O'Rourke's mellifluous voice for the first time and drew on the kick drum bagatelles of Van Dyke Parks and the orch pop of early-70s Burbank. Of course it's not like any other pop you've heard before, but it does have all the required catchy hooks, pleasant melodies and good-time sounds you demand from your down-time musical diversions. Includes a Bacharach cover that finally puts him on par with folks on the Tzadik label and Elvis Costello.