Ginger Leigh If I Should Die
By Marcus Pan
A weird conglomeration here,
with left field ideas from a talented artist to create well, hits or
misses depending on your viewpoint. Ginger Leigh is one of those artists who
refuses to come out of his basement, always hiding in the shadows and kicking
out a release here and there with little to no fanfare(1). His artistic
displays will vary according to his whims, with some tracks like Walk
Tall being overall intersting and others like Artificial Limbs being
My reasoning between the difference in the two is this...to
start both have a background vocal chant that hides just barely under the
music. In Walk Tall it combines wonderfully against a minimal but
interesting rhythm and bass stance. On Artificial Limbs, which is less
controlled, it loses its appeal as it becomes lost. Then Leigh turns to
brighter melodies interspersed with dark chain-like rhythm and organ chord
elements with In the Month of March. The effect is at once brightly
luminescent a'la Twink(2), and on the same token dark and brooding a'la
Leigh doesn't resort to high-value production or mixing. His
work is off the cuff, raw and challenging; keeping what seems to be most
elements that he's come up with to good and bad. The idea of keeping it "all"
is astounding, and at the same time mesmerizing. You can go from hating a track
to loving the next throughout the course of If I Should Die
Track 6, Love Letters, opens with barely audible
samples that could be either a television or an overhead speaker of some sort.
It then goes into an interesting but overbearing combination of
Deliverance banjo and cabaret dirge. The banjo hangs a bit but morphs
into a sitar and throughout it there's this annoying whine that can either be
meant to be there, or a fault with low budget equipment. It ends on a shout.
This is an example of a miss.
More Unquestionable Truths on the other hand mixes up
funk and toy pianos together for an interesting effect. While I could do
without the static noise throughout it all, I can forgive it based on the
ingeniousness of the track itself. This is an example of a hit. Another hit is
the Arabian stylings of Taxicab Ride Through the City. Bombay, it must
be. If I Should Die Tomorrow goes along in this vein, like a lonely
child pulling the petals off of a flower: "love it, hate it, love it, hate
Sometimes it's worth giving something new a try. Ginger
Leigh's If I Should Die Tomorrow is like that, too. It's something new
and you can come out the other end saying, "Well, I'll never do that again!" or
being radically interested. Or you can be like me, kind of flipping back and
forth like the petals of the flower. But either way, you certainly can't
detract from the mysterious basement dweller and mainstream shunner Ginger
Leigh. He certainly has his own muse and he's determined to go where it takes
him, whether we like it or not.
Post: PO Box 683, Artesia, CA 90702-0683, USA
(1) Legends has reviewed four of his releases
already, the latest being A True Life
Story in issue 137.
artist. See our interview with him in Legends
(3) Also interviewed in Legends #108.