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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cocteau Twins - Victorialand

Released : 14 April 1986
Recorded : 1985
Genre : Post-Punk
Gothic Rock
Label : 4AD – CAD602
Producer : Cocteau Twins

Victorialand (1986) is the fourth album by Scottish band Cocteau Twins. Working without member Simon Raymonde, who had been enlisted to work on This Mortal Coil's Filigree & Shadow album, vocalist Elizabeth Fraser and guitarist/producer Robin Guthrie produced a record almost completely devoid of percussion, drenching acoustic guitars in reverberant space to create a wide, expansive sound that borders on ambient.
The title refers to the part of Antarctica known as Victoria Land after Queen Victoria (and forming the British claim to the continent, currently dormant under international treaty). Several song titles seem to have polar themes (although not exclusively Antarctic), including "How to Bring a Blush to the Snow", "Feet-Like Fins", presumably about penguins, "Throughout the Dark Months of April and May", which could be about the beginning of the South Polar winter, the obvious "Whales Tails" and "Oomingmak" which is an Inuit name for the Musk Ox. "The Thinner the Air" could refer to the fact that much of the continent is more than 3 kilometers (2 mi) above sea level; at this altitude air becomes noticeably thinner. As is often the case with Fraser's vocals, the lyrics are indecipherable.
On its initial release in the UK the vinyl edition was a 12" disc which played at 45 rpm, which would be normal for EP rather than a full album which would normally play at 33⅓ rpm. This was due to difficulties in the mastering process in reproducing the minimal soundscapes. Some test pressings at 33⅓ rpm are known to exist.
An uncredited instrumental version of "Oomingmak" was used as a backing track for the credits at the end of the 4AD compilation video "Lonely Is An Eyesore". This instrumental version was later made available in the 1991 4AD singles box set.


1. Lazy Calm
2. Fluffy Tufts
3. Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May
4. Whales Tails
5. Oomingmak
6. Little Spacey
7. Feet-Like Fins
8. How To Bring A Blush To The Snow
9. The Thinner The Air


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