Sunday, April 10, 2011
SAMPLE & HOLD : interplay / john foxx and the maths
Listening to Interplay by John Foxx and the Maths I am reminded of my initial acquaintance with fellow Brit Peter Forrest's monumental two part tome The A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers, the sense of incantory sonic magic resulting from playing (with) an array of knobs and cables perfecting imperfection, all sonorous smears wonderfully summed up in Foxx's 1980 masterwork Metamatic..."click...click...drone." With the help of synth archivist/musician/artist Benge, Mr. Foxx, using pre-1985 synth technology (all listed for each track) has made a timely statement of analogue intent with great pop songs! If there was any justice in the world of electro-pop, "Evergreen" would hit the charts with an electric jolt! Sharing the same iconic british contradictory mindspace that allows for the home of the Industrial Revolution AND the timeless bucolic garden world of some far-off arcadian England to live together, Foxx, along with other fellow analogue synthesists like Ghostbox's Belbury Poly, have returned to a simpler world devoid of laptop menus and perfect pre-sets...Foxx sings " There is a place we once knew...Forever evergreen..." and the "forever changes" (a nod to Love?) of oscillators made beautifully unstable by temperature and moisture...a future nostalgia. Benge's contributions, sequences,synths, electro-percussion and treatments add layers of analogue grandeur, the summed sound of which is stunning in its direct percussive and atmospheric expression. Foxx and Benge have breathed fresh wave-shapes into a genre Mr. Foxx helped to invent. Bravo!