18 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Instrument—the 1999 Fugazi visual retrospective assembled by the band’s longtime art director, Jem Cohen—is as essential to the band’s catalog as any of its albums, and the accompanying soundtrack functions as a homemade greatest-hits album for a band that abhorred the concept of a greatest-hits album. Culled from Fugazi's vast archives, Instrument spans 1988 to 1998 and includes demos and outtakes from every stage of Fugazi’s career. Because the songs here were recorded mostly in practice spaces, the collection has a strikingly intimate feel—as though listeners are for the first time allowed to see Fugazi from the inside looking out, rather than the outside looking in. In the tradition of soundtracks, many of these instrumentals assume the feel of film music, even though they weren’t specifically designed as such. Among the many treats are “Arpeggiator Demo,” “Closed Caption Demo," and “Trios” (all from 1997). But the crown jewel is “I’m So Tired,” a fully formed solo piano song sung by Ian MacKaye. It's the most disarmingly tender thing Fugazi has ever released.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Instrument—the 1999 Fugazi visual retrospective assembled by the band’s longtime art director, Jem Cohen—is as essential to the band’s catalog as any of its albums, and the accompanying soundtrack functions as a homemade greatest-hits album for a band that abhorred the concept of a greatest-hits album. Culled from Fugazi's vast archives, Instrument spans 1988 to 1998 and includes demos and outtakes from every stage of Fugazi’s career. Because the songs here were recorded mostly in practice spaces, the collection has a strikingly intimate feel—as though listeners are for the first time allowed to see Fugazi from the inside looking out, rather than the outside looking in. In the tradition of soundtracks, many of these instrumentals assume the feel of film music, even though they weren’t specifically designed as such. Among the many treats are “Arpeggiator Demo,” “Closed Caption Demo," and “Trios” (all from 1997). But the crown jewel is “I’m So Tired,” a fully formed solo piano song sung by Ian MacKaye. It's the most disarmingly tender thing Fugazi has ever released.

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