Taken from www.fluxeuropa.com

Changes was featured by FluxEuropa in 1997 in this article posted here.


Long before the birth of Death in June, Sol Invictus or Current 93, the American duo, Changes, was producing a brand of 'apocalyptic folk'. The duo was founded some 25 years ago by cousins Robert Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk, and was later joined by Robert's wife, Karen. After a considerable break the group was reactivated in 1995 thanks to the encouragement of Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis/Storm Records.


Changes' first production was the Fire of Life/Icarus 7" which was jointly released by Storm and Cthulhu. It contained one old and one new recording and was planned as a taster for two subsequent CDs, Fire of Life featuring 11 recordings from the late 60s and early 70s and Orphan In The Storm featuring 13 new ones. Remarkably, these two songs are very similar in style.


The Fire Of Life CD (1996 STRM06-CR21) features the same title track and ten other vintage songs rescued from old reel-to-reel tapes, some of which were disintegrating even as they were being played. The music has the feel of the 'contemporary folk' genre of the period with an element of country, which is, after all, America's authentic folk music.

The discordant minors on the 'Fire Of Life' title track add a special tension and this is certainly my favourite from the album. The apocalyptic theme is also taken up in the closing 'Twilight Of The West', but these tracks are balanced by more conventional love songs.

'Bleeding Out Your Feelings Evermore' (track 3) has a nice folky tune with a more modern B part. Tracks like 'The Saddest Thing' (track 4) and 'Early Morning Hours Of The Night' (track 5) have an almost Simon and Garfunkle feel, while 'R.I.P. Van Winkle's Pipe Dream' (track 9) has a sweet 'Irish and Country' sound.

Despite the age of these recordings the vocals are really clear, an achievement beyond the capabilities of many contemporary groups despite the availability of hi-tech equipment. Much of this material had obvious commercial potential and it is gratifying to see it issued at long last.


The forthcoming Orphan In The Storm CD was named after a ballad, in the collection, about Edgar Allen Poe. These recordings include and were made at the same time as 'Icarus', but while the 7" version is entirely acoustic, the version here has been re-mixed and fully orchestrated. Also included is a new version of 'Twilight Of The West' on which the group is joined by Michael Moynihan.


Another tentative project is Soul Of Steel, which is essentially spoken poetry with synth back-up, which Robert and Karen are doing on their own. One of the three tracks so far recorded, 'Faust', will appear soon on a CD compilation called Men Among Mice.

RIK - 20 May 1997. Amended 31 January 1999. (FluxEuropa)