Arthur Russell

Picture Of Bunny Rabbit

Audika • 2023

In 1986, the late underground disco and improvisation pioneer Arthur Russell, who died at an early age, created »World of Echo«, a classic of cello, voice and reverb the daring fragility and unique world of which still resonates today. The previously unreleased recordings collected on »Picture of Bunny Rabbit« date from the same period when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive. His main ingredients have remained the same, with the addition of guitar, keyboards or harmonica on some tracks. Arthur Russell gropes his way around the room again, introverted, perhaps a little more so, his tone curious about new things, at the same time anxious or even distant. Among them are poignant masterpieces like the frankly simple song, »The Boy With a Smile« or the instrumental title track, which uses effects to distort, compress and swirl its cello melodies. The finale is a very intimate version of his proto-house anthem »In the Light of the Miracle«, here called »In the Light of a Miracle«, with no beat or other dance ingredients. Russell sings a slightly different lyric to his cello, with a kind of scratching effect in the background. »Picture of Bunny Rabbit« is a fabulous reason to listen to Russell again, or at all, and gives hope for more revelations in the future.