Shuggie Otis - 1974 – Inspiration Information
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Shuggie Otis (son of legendary balladeer Johnny) is quite simply a musical genius. Of the first order.
A brillant,imagantive one-mand band who ranks up there with Stevie Wonder,Prince,and the late,great Curtis Mayfield. But sadly didn’t. Unfourtnaly, Shuggie never achieved the great feats that those greats attained.
And even sadder, his visionary second album,”Insprition Infomation”, was his swan song.
And that’s sad because “Information Infomation” is a lost treasure.
This album is just amazing-to put simply. This album easily became one of my favorite albums of all-time after just one listen! This album was released in 1974 and sounds more innovative and contempary then most of the music released today! Sly,Prince, Stevie, Marvin, Curtis, Donny…there’s another name that’s not on that list and it’s Shuggie.Want proof?
All you have to do is listen to this album.
A1 Inspiration / Information 4:07
A2 Island Letter 4:40
A3 Sparkle City 5:55
A4 Aht Uh Mi Hed 4:14
B1 Happy House 1:08
B2 Rainy Day 2:39
B3 XL-30 2:05
B4 Pling! 4:24
B5 Not Available 2:26
“Inspiration Information” is one of those musical short circuits that you would not find age and latitude. Destined to be out of every era and particular genre, it is a soul-funk trip as you have tried to define it, which anticipates the seasons dub, funky, drum’n’bass, neopsichedeliche, remaining always and despite, distinct and unchanging. A tormenting music, dynamic but also synthetic and minimal, of arrangements and very modern production. The work of a single genius demiurge: the twenty-one-year-old composer Shuggie Otis, in the recording studio of his father Johnny.
In their own small, fatal melodic miniatures, very personal and free from commercial logics, “Inspiration Information” initiates an immaculate revolution, incorporates external atmospheric conditions, reality, and internal moods. It makes its own in a music of joints and harmonic incantations of very thin and suave quality that, in its impulses and signals, comports around flowing vaults of piano and electronic drums, with brush strokes and guitar arpeggios and steps of vibraphone.
Songs like “Island Letter“, “Aht Uh Mi Hed“, “Rainy Day“, “Pling” (or “Strawberry Letter 23” added by the reissue Luaka Bop), stir in the conscience and sentiment, spread fragments and lights, ineffable faces invisible to most. Otis, conceiving them in very light and measured gestures, pursues and develops them, revealing in these beautiful, disconcerting colors, distant echoes of joys and dramas.
Sometimes his voice, as a docile aid of memory, slips and is now rendered and won, and narrates its torrid existential torments.
A strong impression you get from this naive work is that, like Stejah’s “Aja” or the best Todd Rundgren, it sets off in a disquieting and distinct way from the pop context, becoming big in itself, perched, and incomparable as it has always been obstinate and to which every addition would repudiate.
In its ambiguous and mystical nature, suspended in a waiting without solution this music is of captivating definitive elegance. Like a dull sea and a clear sky that you meet on the horizon, cancel yourself in a single sky, exchange these visual fantasies for your instrumental fantasies, these figures just stirred in the surf, brought on a salty breeze.
An invincible widespread melancholic aura and solitude, which just shake refracts in myriads of colors and superb lights.
“Inspiration Information” is a predestined record, cumbersome and unmanageable, by a young genius and at the same time already his artistic-spiritual testament.
Shuggie Otis remained alone with her enigma, since the producers stopped following him and favoring him. It does not make a fold: Otis is a proud and haughty character, as ambiguous as his own art. After so many years we would see well, in front of followers and admirers who have variously drawn inspiration / information (Brothers Johnson, ESG, High Llamas, Stereolab, Tortoise), dissolve in a sarcastic laugh.