Wednesday, 10 June 2009
John Foxx & Robin Guthrie - Mirrorball
This is a very interesting release and you probably know exactly what it will sound like. Is that a good thing or bad thing? Who cares. As you would expect from the ex-Cocteau Twin's Robin Guthrie, the sound of this for the most part is not a million miles away from the Cocteau Twins' sound, in particular the Simon Raymonde-less `Victorialand' period.
All the usual reference points are here, so I guess it's time to throw in words like lush, ethereal and hypnotising... How about ambient? This is topped off with vocals - or should that be voices, from John Foxx, who to be honest I have never had any leaning to as a solo artist or as a member of Ultravox, with whom Foxx was a founding member.
On first listen I found Foxx's "vocals" tedious and verge on annoying, but after a few tracks things start to make sense. For me at times the lack of an understanding of lyrics can be a good thing, whether it be in a foreign language or just plain gibberish - like this. 99% of the lyrics I hear from today's modern singers are just are nonsense or garbage anyway. so in this sense, like Elizabeth Frazer's style, Foxx's voice here is used as an instrument to full effect. Pretentious, moi? Gregorian chanting anyone?
So I guess you could call call this an ambient album, but that doesn't necessarily make it an "ambient album". Same way someone who reads the guardian newspaper isn't necessarily a "guardian reader". Savvy?
`Mirrorball' is out now on John Foxx's Metamatic label.
Here are a couple of tasters.