Michael Farneti – ESP Switch

by jamesendeacott

this song was on the amazing Enjoy The Experience compilation that came out earlier this year…it’s a gem..the album is good but this song sets me off…i’m searching for my ESP Switch, where have you hidden it…?
Here’s the music followed by some words about the man and the record taken from the labels website

Only a handful of people have had the chance to hear this extraordinarily idiosyncratic album, mostly the rarified record collecting breed devoted to the pursuit of private press records, or so called ‘vanity pressings’. These self-released, often home-made recordings are sold by the artists as souvenirs after a show, distributed to people involved in the business of music (promoters, agents, A&R people etc.), or given away to friends and family. They are not often masterpieces, but when they are, they can strike you with a passionate immediacy and a sense of the human connect that more professionally polished recordings simply can’t.

Private press albums like this one have been avidly collected since the early 1980s. The thrift-store/flea-market gnosis which originated among collectors is that the merits of these vanity recordings (what Paul Major refers to as ‘Real People Music’) are where the route between the heart and the recording is a road less traveled but immensely more picturesque than a detour via slick professionalism.

I can remember the day when Paul Major played me the Michael Farneti album for the first time. It was one of those AHA-art-experiences along the lines of the first time you hear the overture for Figaro’s Wedding, or Philosophy of the World by the Shaggs, or the first time you view Holbein’s Dance of Death; it is a visceral experience of such potency. By this point I had been collecting records quite frenetically for a decade or two, but nothing quite prepared me for the sounds I found myself immersed in.

Good Morning Kisses, in my opinion, is one of the true masterpieces of the self-released, self-produced LPs which were released in the 1970s and 80s. The range of this album is hard to grasp: Farneti’s straight-faced execution of songs in the outer reaches of Camus’ absurd man like “In The Jungle”, “Come To Europe” or “Movie Star” stand in counterpoint to the sublime beauty of “ESP Switch” or “The River”.

Over the years, words have reached me that Farneti saw this album as a disappointment in his life — I hope this is no longer the case. Through Will Louviere and Troy Peters’ labor of love, this pastoral slice of private press elegance will find its audience many moons after its original release along with new fans who will respond to it with a similar emotional vibrancy as the performances contained within.

— Johan Kugelberg, 2011

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