Fugazi – Red Medicine

Vinyl (12" / 33rpm)
Dischord [DISCHORD090]

– Ships with download code –

The most experimental album from one of the most experimental post-hardcore bands that ever was.

Red Medicine sees Fugazi move into much more experimental territory than on previous releases, making use of studio production techniques to further enhance their already unique sound. all tracks on this album were written in a one month period in a small country house in New England. Thirteen tracks were then taken to the Dischord label’s favoured recording studio ‘Inner Ear Studios’ , run by engineer Don Zientara.

There is an essay to be written on each of the 13 tracks on Red Medicine, 45 minutes of complex signs and signifiers both musical and lyrical, Ian MacKaye lyrics are wide open to interpretation and seem to take on new meaning with each listen – ‘You’re eyes, like crashing jets, fixed in stained glass but not religious’ for one example on the lead track.

Red Medicine opens with ‘Do You Like Me’, starting with a minute of pure sonic experimentation, heavily distorted guitars and crashing drums before abruptly breaking into a relatively upbeat track, setting the tone for much of the album. At the mid point on the disc, we are treated to the melancholic ecstasy of ‘Forensic Scene’, the sounds of two distorted guitars screaming in unison rise to the highest point of the album on ‘By You’, MacKaye and Picciotto locked in harmony before bringing everything to a very abrupt halt only to rise up again, it is this tension that really defines the album as a whole, balanced disharmony.

Two tracks later the The most obviously dub influenced track, aptly named ‘Version’ makes the most of their gang of FX, throwing distortion around the track, adding haunting delay to the clarinet and the perfectly late drum hits, all sit around a killer bassline. Further reading of the liner notes reveals a Sly & Robbie composition credit.

A crucial album for all collections, one that has not only stood the test of time but one that becomes more intriguing with each listen, at RwdFwd we have been listening to this for over a decade and are still picking out subtle details, in short, this is a must have.

Full tracklist

1. Do You Like Me
2. Bed for the Scraping
3. Latest Disgrace
4. Birthday Pony
5. Forensic Scene
6. Combination Lock
7. Fell, Destroyed
8. By You
9. Version
10. Target
11. Back to Base
12. Downed City
13. Long Distance Runner

£17.99
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