With its repress of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s now-classic 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies, Toronto’s Séance Centre contributes to the legend of a recording whose accompanying lore includes: sleepless nights in a Huntsville, ON home studio; nearly three decades of obscurity; resurrection at the hands of Japanese audiophiles (and Dan Snaith); and a multi-label bidding war.
The album’s longstanding musical successes are not unlike its more recent and worldlier ones. All six songs are indebted to a kind of patient, forgiving and fortuitous pace. The layers of opener “Ever New” coalesce around a vocal performance that exposes Copeland’s decades of performing children’s music for beloved TV series Mr. Dressup, among others. The keyboards on “Winter Astral” lend a guiding hand through a cold and crisp landscape that’s no less inviting than the “summer rain…, the bud, the summer blooming flower” of the previous track. Glenn-Copeland’s songs provide us the space to move comfortably through our surroundings, whatever the conditions.
That said, Keyboard Fantasies is far from a purely pastoral endeavour. The centrepieces of the album, “Let Us Dance” and “Slow Dance,” are both built around the kind of perfectly constructed drum loops that might find their home blaring out of an expansive sound system. Keyboard Fantasies may not be techno proper, but it is dance music in the way that most counts. Its biggest strength is that, somehow, across oceans, dance floors, seasons, and, miraculously, decades, it calls us to communion with ourselves and each other. (Séance Centre)