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This definitive edition collects the entire released output of Camberwell Now (two EPs and an LP), newly re-mastered by the band and repackaged with full notes, lyrics, additional photographs and artwork. Chronologically, Camberwell Now immediately succeeded This Heat, Charles Hayward continuing to work with This Heat's last bassist Trefor Goronwy, and the two of them joining forces with Stephen Rickard who, for the new band, designed his unique 'cassette switchboard', a kind of proto-sampler - though that's not the half of it (Steve's article fully explaining the device is reprinted in the new, expanded booklet that comes with the CD). Musically, Camberwell both followed and departed from the style of This Heat. Formally and gesturally there are common elements, but there is far greater transparency and the sound palette is quite different: the music is more placed than grown, as the slow accumulation and evolution of material in This Heat gives way to a more immediate and orderly development of the material in Camberwell Now. The songs - nostalgic, scary, and quietly desperate - peer into the future to find harbour but confront only fragments of ruin.
This remastered edition of All's Well from London's Camberwell Now culls together all the official recordings of the band from 1983-1987, that being Medidian, The Ghost Trade, and Greenfingers. The band was made up of Charles Hayward (vocals, drums, keyboards), Trefor Goronwy (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), and Stephen Rickard (tape switchboard, loops), and they played in a style that is pretty unique, part progressive rock, part avant-garde, part British garage rock. Although guests appear on the releases (female vocals, sax, trombone), it's mostly the trio that come up with and create the assortment of sounds of this release. When Camberwell Now focus on being a progressive rock band, as they do on tracks such as "Resplash" and "Working Nights", things get interesting, as they combine elements of bands like 80's era King Crimson, The Work, and a little Talking Heads into a cohesive and risk taking sound. Their avant-garde leanings however are certainly an acquired taste, but offer plenty of hidden nuggets that get unearthed after repeated spins. Tunes like the haunting "Wheat Futures ", with its creepy vocals and undulating keyboard effects, and the epic "The Ghost Trade ", a sort of head-on collision between Van Der Graaf Generator and late 70's David Bowie, will not instantly click on first listen, but they really have a lot to offer. The more upbeat tunes like "Speculative Fiction", "Greenfingers", and "Green Lantern " have almost dance-like beats and techno keyboards, and add to the variety factor here. Overall All's Well is a charming look back on an underground British band who probably had the tools to break through to the mainstream, but were a bit too avant-garde to really make it happen. This remastered edition from ReR Megacorp USA collects all their recorded work and is worth checking out. --Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility
1. Cutty Sark
2. Pearl Divers
3. Spirit of Dunkirk
5. Daddy Needs a Throne
6. Working Nights
8. Wheat Futures
9. Speculative Fiction
10. Green Lantern
11. The Ghost Trade
13. Mystery of the Fence
14. Know How
15. Element Unknown
Top Customer Reviews
By D. McNab on April 29, 2007
Format: Audio CDComment Sending feedback...
Quite a listen. Takes up where This Heat left off after Deceit. A little calmer, but far from poppy or overly melodic. Some of the songs are as good as This Heat's best work. Highly recommended. It has that wonderful quality of an album that has many different types of songs but they all hang together as the work of the same individuals.
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