Courtesy the Allen Ginsberg After the Tuesday release of a collaboration between the poet Allen Ginsberg and the musician Arthur Russell (above), a record company now plans to issue more previously unreleased music by Mr. Russell.
As previously reported on The Local, a new 12-inch single featuring a rare Allen Ginsberg-Arthur Russell collaboration was released Tuesday from Audika Records and Press Pop Music. But fans of Mr. Russell will be excited to hear that there’s more unearthed material on the way.
“There are a few things people haven’t heard that I want to get out,” said Audika Records founder Steve Knutson in a recent interview with The Local.
Mr. Russell, an East Village resident who died in 1992, collaborated with the Talking Heads, Studio 54 resident DJ Nicky Siano, and minimalist composer Philip Glass, among others. His diverse discography — ranging from avant-disco and experimental pop, to ethereal cello compositions and folk-tinged love songs — touched on many facets of the New York downtown scene in the ’70s and ’80s, and has been widely acclaimed.
Over the next six months, Mr. Knutson plans to “go full circle” with two additional never-before-heard releases, focusing primarily on smaller releases of Mr. Russell’s avant-disco work. One of those avant-disco tracks, “Let’s Go Swimming,” is currently being mastered. Mr. Knutson plans to release the remastered original 12-inch version (which he says “sounds better than the original”) backed with previously unreleased material.
Mr. Russell recorded “Let’s Go Swimming” several times. A reverb-laden, cello-based rendition of “Let’s Go Swimming” previously appeared on the 1986 album “World of Echo,” and an Arthur Gibbons mix of the “mutant disco” version appeared on 2004 compilation “The World of Arthur Russell” from Soul Jazz Records. But the original has yet to be released.
Mr. Knutson, who also manages Rough Trade Records in North America, founded Audika in 2003 for the sole purpose of releasing material from Russell’s archives. Focusing primarily on the musician’s experimental pop output, previous Audika releases have included the posthumous collections “Calling Out of Context” (2004) and “Love is Overtaking Me” (2008).
Though Mr. Knutson never met Mr. Russell, he has been an avid fan since the mid-‘80s, when he first heard the Walter Gibbons mix of Russell’s “Schoolbell Treehouse.” Knutson said it changed his life. “It was like what I’d been waiting to hear all my life,” he said. “I thought it was one of the most incredible things I’d ever heard.”