As Kevin Moist once said in a review in the outstanding Deep Water fanzine: "Ah, Charalambides. Charalambides. Say it again, with reverence." To suggest Charalambides as my all-time favorite band is perhaps to go a bit too far but it?s really not far off the mark. When they released the monumental double LP "Market Square" on Siltbreeze back in 1995 they forever reserved a secret valley in my musical elysian fields. It isn?t only one of the most powerful, beautiful and painful albums I?ve ever heard, it also opened sonic doors for me that I didn?t even know existed. I think that time will show that Charalambides truly was one of the most important bands of the ?90s. "Market Square" is really everything I need in order to prove all this, but luckily there are more aural documents from around the same time to back up my theory. One of them is their debut album "Our Bed Is Green" that initially came out as a 90 minutes long cassette in 1993 and partly saw the light of the day on CD a few years later. This Kranky reissue places the original cassette in its entirety (with the exception of two cover songs) on a double CD set and I am positive that any open-minded fan of things truly consciousness-altered won?t be disappointed.
Charalambides was (and still is for that matter) one of those bands that are so far ahead or apart from what other people are doing that a lot of people are going to be left behind, scratching their heads in confusion. For the more adventurous listener the payoff can be immense. On "Our Bed Is Green" we find them playing a kind of rustic, caustic, even abrasive electric folk music. Dark acoustic meditations and crackling improvisations are placed next to mind-melting organ expeditions with introspective whispery folk numbers binding the whole thing together into one cohesive whole. The album was all produced at home on four-track which gives the proceedings a crude (or lo-fi if you will) vibe but that doesn?t by any means prevent them from achieving a rare kind of genius.
"Our Bed Is Green" won't appeal to everyone, as its fragmented tone and general sense of loss and foreboding mystery might be a bit too much to handle for some people, but if you're willing to let these aural structures seep into your skull, you'll find it innovative, surprising and hypnotic. But most of all you?ll find it truly incredible, with enough striking organic features to make the hair on your arms stand up. 9/10 -- Mats Gustafsson (25 May, 2005)