NICK NICELY Psychotropia (TP059)
"Hilly Fields (1892)' was described by the NME upon its release in 1982 as "the best psychedelic record made since the '60s". All four sides of that cult classic and Nick's first single "D.C.T. Dreams' are now joined by a bunch of outtakes of similar vintage (including his aborted third single, "On The Coast', and another last-minute withdrawal in "6B Obergine', initially intended to be the B-side of "Hilly Fields') to form the astonishing Psychotropia, 47 minutes of psychedelic otherness - imagine being trapped in a "Picnic At Hanging Rock'-style Victorian psychedelic timewarp. 1000 numbered copies on 190gm vinyl - one for pimply little postboys everywhere.
"Nikolas Laurien's story is depressingly common: talented but introverted artist suffers enforced underachievement from being helplessly out-of-step with the prevailing mood. His biggest brush with renown was a dazzling modern-psych single released by EMI in 1982: "Hilly Fields', a masterpiece supposedly constructed at home and at great personal hardship over six months, a DIY "Good Vibrations', all scratching decks and spooky cellos. Its genius encouraged XTC's Andy Partridge to cut The Dukes of Stratosphear, and the dozens who bought it (yours truly among them) to die waiting for a subsequent album. Twenty-two years on, it arrives! Recorded piecemeal throughout the '80s and '90s, it feels like three decades of music - Beatles, Eno, Utopia, Buggles, MBV - flashing by in a spaceship, a delirious pop fan's ecstatic narcotic rush. Marvellous." (Mojo)
"A British resurgence of unadulterated psychedelia in the 1980s was epitomised by this bloke's optimum moment with no-expense-spared "Hilly Fields (1892)', a single that was, as Debussy said of Wagner's Das Rheingold, "a glorious sunset mistaken for a dawn". It was certainly all Joe Average would recall of Nick Nicely, despite worthier follow-ups such as 1982's serene On The Coast. Much like listening to Traffic, the Pink Floyd and the Beatles circa 1967, it's evidenced by a Syd Barrett mannerism here, a George Harrison-esque riff there, but welded together, these tracks - even rediscovered out-takes - amount to a controlled production. Ear-catching melody and erudite lyrics are never lost amid the oscillations, sound effects and studio trickery that disguised many essentially banal perceptions in Nicely's role models and contemporaries." (Record Collector)
"The omnipresent melodic touch, wistful ambience and focused vision of a true original… beautiful melodies comprised with a lyrical bent of a deeply personal and impressionistic nature… Nick Nicely made fantastic music, and now we can get it all again and more besides. Let's count our blessings, shall we?" (Ugly Things)
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