Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Indian Ocean was one of the many short-lived outlets for avant-gardist Arthur Russell's love of dance music. The multi-instrumentalist and composer, who might be known more for his cello work than his contribution to the underground New York club scene of the late '70s and early '80s, released the Indian Ocean single "Tree House/School Bell" in 1986. It was one of his last dance-related productions and was released on Sleeping Bag, the label he started earlier in the decade with William Socolov. Featuring a superb dub-influenced mix by frequent collaborator Walter Gibbons (an unheralded figure of dance music in his own right), the single hardly appealed to the dance floor as much as other Russell projects, such as Dinosaur's "Kiss Me Again" or Loose Joints' "Is It All Over My Face?" Instead, the dreamy song was primarily built on a spare, skipping percussive groove with Russell's high-pitched, quavering voice on top and some blurts from trombonist Peter Zummo.