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Solemn sonic sculptures,
This review is from: Pagan Tango (Audio Cassette)
Psychic TV and this innovative duo emerged from the UK's industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle after this seminal band's demise. The 1991 album Pagan Tango has a spectral air created by often ominous/mournful synths and Cosey's ghostly vocals that remind me of the Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico, especially the song Face To Face.
In contrast, In Ecstasy & Take Control are uptempo tracks and Go Go Latino ever more so with its percolating rhythms and arresting vocals. The mid-tempo title track's innovative instrumental mix includes trumpet- and saxophone-like sounds plus various stringed instruments that gel perfectly with Cosey's multitracked vocals. The music is neither synth-pop nor industrial.
Ambient is the more appropriate term as the experimental percussive patterns and the synthesizers' symphonic sculptures place it closer to elements of Brian Eno's early work, Peter Baumann's Transharmonic Nights, Autechre's Amber or some of The World of Skin's numinous songs.
The spectral atmospherics are enhanced by muted voice samples on many tracks or Cosey's wordless vocalizing on the semi-instrumental Balfigore (Before The Feast). The closest Chris & Cosey came to synth-pop was on their 1985 collaboration with Eurythmics titled Sweet Surprise. Pagan Tango appears to offer more musical depth now than when it was first released and will appeal to fans of many of the sub-genres of today's electronica, post-industrial or psychedelic styles.