Also news of Future
Clouds & Radar’s return.
By Fred Mills
Among aficionados of ‘90s pop – the type cut from classic ‘60s
cloth but filtered through an ‘80s college rock and DIY sensibility – one of
the brightest lights of the era was Austin’s Cotton Mather, who issued three
full-lengths and a pair of EPs, all highly regarded, before the music industry’s
crush on corporate alt-rock and nü-metal eventually doomed them and other
likeminded outfits. Bandleader Robert Harrison enjoyed considerable fame during
the next decade fronting Future Clouds &Radar (profiled here at BLURT), and while that band has been relatively dormant
the past couple of years, he’s been working on new material and promises a
re-emergence sometime this year.
Meanwhile, though, he’s also been busy assembling a 2CD
Deluxe Edition of Cotton Mather’s classic 1997 album Kontiki, which, with its wash of Beatlesque harmonies, jangly-but-scorching
guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on Big Star or Superdrag records, and the
kind of dense, headphone-beckoning arrangements that’d make Todd Rundgren and
Andy Partridge blush, earned the accolades of such diverse tastemakers as Britt
Daniels of Spoon and the Gallagher brothers of Oasis (who took the band out on
tour in England that same year. For the reissue, Harrison
presented the original album along with a bonus disc of outtakes and early
demos, plus a thick booklet containing the entire story of the making of the album
and the history of the band.
Keep your eyes peeled for our review of Kontiki soon. A wildly successful Kickstarter campaign funded the reissue – check out the awesome, and hilarious, video (watch for the celeb cameos) that was created for the campaign right here. Then check this trailer that was made for the reissue:
To further seal the deal, Harrison
and fellow C.M. alumnus Whit Williams have been, Harrison
tells BLURT, “hanging out a lot and at the guitars
again – we want to give Kontiki a proper American release.” A
special Cotton Mather reunion concert is being planned for March at SXSW in
which the entire album is performed. Says Harrison, ‘Most if not all of the
people who played on Kontiki will be
there and it will be the first C.M. show since Lyon
10 years ago this May!”
bet yours truly will be at the show, front and center.
adds that Future Clouds & Radar along with his Star Apple Kingdom label are officially
reactivated. “I had to shut the label down and sell the studio house back in
2009 because our funding didn’t survive the economic ‘down-turn’… But slowly
I’ve put it all back together – built a new studio space and label HQ in the
woods, behind my house in the country.
“The Kontiki project seemed like a good place to start a new creative chapter and draw energy back into the label.”