Bill Fay's Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow functions with the same disquieting plainness as Scott Walker's 1984 album, Climate of Hunter. A songwriter last fully functional in the early 70s, re-appearing in the late-70s, early 80s utilizing synthesizers but not in a striking, avant garde way. Haunted, steadily pulsing pop songs -- an about face to his early 70s pieces of acid, Sabbath-y apocalyptic balladry. Definitely in the Walker/Wyatt/Cale space of too-pop-for-art/too-art-for-pop.
What makes Soft Cell's third album the best are the stories and the drift away from synth-pop and towards an earthier mix of guitars, noise, and gasoline-fueled torch songs. I don't think they could have made this kind of album without feeling their own end. Each track could be a chapter in a Jean Genet journal. "Slave To This" and "L'Esqualita" are the biggest leaps forward, the former completely immersed in the likes of Foetus, Coil, and everyone else in the English underground circa '83-'84, and the latter an obvious lurch towards Marc's solo career as a "torchbearer" for Brel and Walker. The rest of the album is also a big step away from the pleasant synthpop genre and into something… Read more
Chris Watson has recorded, compiled, and composed a wonderful response to the birth of music concrète. Alluding to the trains and train stations in French composer Pierre Schaeffer's early tape compositions, Watson uses this same schema as a back drop in which he presents "concrete music" writ large. The entire world surrounding the experience of trains and urban rhythms are no longer relegated to small snippets of tape quotations, but live as they are in your ears. A completely organic sound world extending from Schaeffer's ideas.
My only problem is with the geographic framing of this project. It's presented as a journey from West to East, from the Pacific to the… Read more