This powerful album by the late Seattle writer Steven Jesse Bernstein (wikipedia) is one of the most effective and uncompromising spoken word records in
the field. Bernstein took his own life in 1991, and this disc acts as
both his swan song and a tribute by his collaborators to his poetic
talent. These readings were recorded in 1990-91 (many of the pieces
appear in his book, "More Noise Please") and were posthumously set to
music by producer/composer Steve Fisk.
Just prior to Bernstein's death, only one track had been fully
finished, but he liked what he heard and agreed for Fisk and Sub Pop to
proceed with the project. The result would have made him proud.
confrontational, scathing voice marches through the door and slaps your
face, backed up by dense, lazy, looping beats and samples that
rearrange your furniture and hide the TV remote. These tracks demand
and deserve your attention. Although he's an underground hero in the
Northwest and has been championed by those in the know (William S. Burroughs endorsed him, and "No No Man" was used in the opening montage of Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers),
his body of work remains largely unread and unheard by the masses. For
more Bernstein audio, an unaccompanied reading of "Come Out Tonight"
can be found among the grunge tracks on the Sub-Pop-200 compilation. (RYM, monocle)