The Sound It Out offices closed for vacation last week, so I’m eager to catch up with a highly anticipated album by Canada’s greatest alternative band… Just kidding — no one had any idea new wavers Martha and the Muffins had a new release coming out!
Actually, Where Blue Meets Green (Balearic Edits) is an adventurous downtempo mix tape assembled by the German dub label Echo Beach, whose love for the Muffins extends to cribbing the name of the band’s biggest hit for their operation. That song doesn’t show up on this new release, but an inspired mix of mid-period (1983-91) Muffins deep cuts and should-have-been-bigger singles does, making for a stony summer surprise.
Wisely, Where Blue Meets Green (Balearic Edits) is a reverent greatest-hits collection. Remixers Martin “ez” Fiki and TC sunshine add original musical and spoken-word elements, slow down tempos on some tracks, and liberate samples of other artists’ music from intransigent rights holders. In so doing, the album demonstrates a fresh approach to the traditional anthology format, casting Martha and the Muffins’ music in a new light, and offers a cool calling card for this German label.
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.