On the Wings of a Skink
We found one box of ORIGINAL MOTILE MUSIC copies of On The Wings of a Skink - and when they're gone, they are GONE! The intense and beautiful disc and package art by Bill Feeny is worth twice the price alone... Plus the folkdance selections along with Miserlou and the Led Zeppelin cover (4 Skinks = Four Sticks) make this a somewhat exciting, rare and desirable CD. This is the 2nd true (independant) record released by the Reptile Palace Orchestra. The song selection pleases folkdancers, bellydancers, folk and rock lovers alike. This unique live CD was recorded in two locations in Madison, WI. One was a Synogogue called the 'Gates of Heaven' on the shore of Lake Mendota. The other was at the Club De Wash, a beloved venue that burned to the ground shortly after this disc was released. Skink was produced by Brian Daly and meticoulously recorded at both locations. The Synogogue material has an airy, open quality with a natural reverb. The club material is exciting and visceral. Anna Purnell's vocals command as usual plus electric and acoustic violins and cellos, clarinets, and dumbek (hand drum). there is no full drum kit on this recording, at either venue, as the dumbek was played by Cathy Moore, the Reptile's original percussionist. She used both Turkish and Egyptian Dumbeks. This is the album just before Siggi Baldursson joined the Reptiles and launched them into their current 'Balkan Lounge Funk World Rock' genre. All instruments at the church were acoustic. Actually, there may have been some electric cello mixed in, but there is some acoustic cello as well. The club shows were all electric. AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger: On the Wings of a Skink is the first of several independent live albums from Madison's offbeat Reptile Palace Orchestra. It's their second overall album, released just prior to their Omnium label debut, Hwy X. This recording contains only two selections from Early Reptile and none from Hwy X, so there is a wealth of different material here. In inimitable fashion, powerful vocalist Anna Purnell gets things rolling with a fiery rendition of the R&B standard 'Fever,' but that mood is quickly lost as the band slips into the haunting Seth Blair acoustic piece 'Love's Sweet Light.' The Arabic dumbek accents the next several selections, including 'Cosmic Slop,' which Purnell belts out with a passion and force seldom heard from her. Although a live recording, the audience is rarely heard, but the ambience is certainly felt and the clarity is impeccable, making this the ideal type of recording combining the live energy and vibe with studio perfection. The quality of this recording is on par with Penguin Café Orchestra's live Concert Program, in which virtually not a peep from the audience is heard. Given the austere sound of Early Reptile, this band grew immeasurably in the two years that elapsed since their debut.