As outlined in our recently uploaded The Essential…Arthur Russell, the New York-based musician was a genuinely incomparable figure: art musician, disco producer, cellist-for-hire, storied DJ, and the mind behind the immortal romantic classic World Of Echo.
Russell’s list of collaborators is long – Allen Ginsberg, David Byrne and Larry Levan have all spent time in the studio with the man – but his list of admirers is longer. His death from AIDS in 1992 was a tragedy, made sharper by the fact that so much of Russell’s music drifted under the radar during his lifetime.
Promoters Circoloco are set to pay tribute to Russell with a major event at Detroit’s TV Bar on May 25. It’s testament to Russell’s standing that Carl Craig has agreed to top the bill, with Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss, Andrew Grant, System Of Survival and D’Julz also on the ticket. Art installations, performances and other Russell-inspired happenings have also been commissioned for the purpose.
In honour of the event, we’ve been furnished with a previously unreleased version of ‘Oh Fernando Why?’, provided by Russell’s regular collaborator Ernie Brooks (of The Modern Lovers). Click below to stream, or head here for tickets for the event. A portion of proceeds from the night will go towards two Detroit based charities, Youthville Detroit and the Detroit Techno Foundation as per the wishes of Tom Lee, Arthur Russell’s partner.