Epilogue
​“There​are​people​who​are​boring​and​there​are​people​who​
are​not,”​says​Steven​Harvey,​who​wrote​pieces​about​down-
town​ music​ for​ the​ New York Rocker​ and​ Collusion​ during​
the​first​half​of​the​1980s.​“There​is​something​that​remains​
interesting​ in​ Arthur​ to​ this​ day.”​ Delicately​ balancing​ his​
commitments​ to​ downtown’s​ varied​ music​ scenes​ like​ a​
plate-spinner,​ Arthur​ Russell​ was​ hard​ to​ capture,​ but​ his​
heterogeneity​and​complexity​have​made​his​legacy​durable.​
The​subdued​loneliness​of​his​voice-cello​songs​ended​up​
resonating​with​the​height​of​the​AIDS​crisis​during​the​first​
half​of​the​1990s;​his​mutant​disco​recordings​became​re-
quired​listening​for​dance​fans​who​started​to​excavate​the​
post-disco​ canon​ during​ the​ second​ half​ of​ the​ 1990s;​ his​
off-kilter​dance​tracks​from​the​mid-1980s​caught​the​imagi-
nation​of​the​early​followers​of​broken​beat​during​the​late​
1990s​ and​ early​ 2000s;​ and​ in​ the​ early​ to​ mid-2000s,​ his​
unreleased​ recordings​ for​ Sleeping​ Bag​ and​ Rough​ Trade​
sounded​ premonitory​ to​ those​who​ became​ fascinated​ by​
the​recycling​of​the​electronic-pop​canon​of​the​first​half​of​
the​1980s.​“If​I​listen​to​Marvin​Gaye​I’m​still​compelled,”​
adds​Harvey.​“You​hear​a​great​singer​and​their​work​retains​
its​relevance.​Arthur’s​music​has​that.​His​music​still​sounds​
contemporary.”
Russell’s​ unwavering​ eclecticism​ suggests​ he​ deserves​
to​be​considered​alongside​Captain​Beefheart,​John​Cage,
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