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Episode 541: October 17, 2021

Autumn Upon UsMoon by Tinnitus Photography

It's an all new episode this week with music from Monika Werkstatt mixed by Lucrecia Dalt, Laetitia Sadier, Pye Corner Audio, Nurse With Wound, Fluxion, Kiln, Ulla, Centrum, Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, Die Welttraumforscher, Benjamin Finger, and Lena Platonos.

Thanks to Tinnitus Photography for this excellent capture of the moon.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 10/17/2021

New music is due from Grouper, Roy Montgomery, and Joseph Allred, while old music is due from Roland Bocquet, Keith Hudson, and Theo Parrish.

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The Universal Veil, "Helios/Hind"

cover imageThis is one of those albums that is likely destined to instantly become some kind of sought-after cult classic, which is amusingly common territory for both of the artists involved.  In any case, The Universal Veil is entirely new to me, which makes a lot of sense in some ways (as far as Discogs and Bandcamp are concerned, the project does not exist) and does not make any sense at all in others (Helios/Hind basically checks every single possible box for "things I like").  As far as I can tell, however, Hood Faire;s David Chatton Barker and Sam McLoughlin (Samandtheplants, Tongues of Light, etc.) have been performing live together for years under this guise and this album is something of a culminating event for the project, as the duo have collaged fragments of their past performances into a hallucinatory full-length of ravaged lo-fi tape experiments and something akin to "ethnological forgeries" like Harappian Night Recordings' classic The Glorious Gongs Of Hainuwele or a chopped and screwed trip through the more outré side of Sublime Frequencies discography.  Needless to say, that means Helios/Hind sets a course quite far out into the shadowy psychedelic fringes, which is exactly what I would hope for when two artists this singular come together.

Hood Faire

The first side of the album ("Helios") opens with stuttering, chirping metal strings that feel like the work of some kind of Remko Scha-style contraption, but things quickly settle into a bleary, ramshackle groove of eerie synth atmospheres, hollow-sounding percussion, and loads of tape hiss and murk.  Naturally, that section is the album's "single" of sorts ("The Camel"), but it is basically just an unusually melodic 4-minute stretch of a sound collage that spans an entire side of vinyl.  As the rest of the piece unfolds, it variously resembles slow-motion exotica, The Gag File-era Aaron Dilloway, The Shadow Ring-style "found footage" creepiness, and a drugged gamelan ensemble collapsing from exhaustion, dropping things, and wandering off.  For the most part, I would describe the aesthetic as something akin to fragments of Nonesuch Explorer-esque tribal field recordings filtered through blown speakers and ravaged tape, but occasionally some other elements like laughter and party sounds drift in as well.  Unsurprisingly, the "Hind" side offers more of the same phantasmagoric miasma of cool tribal/junkyard percussion motifs, precarious keyboard melodies, and tape ruin, but it seems to have more of an "animal" element than the "Helios" side.  At times, it is even weirdly beautiful, as it is when a wonderful stomping and shuffling groove dissolves into a coda of warm, bleary drones.  In general, however, "Hind" feels like a ravaged recording of a gamelan procession colliding with a badly worn VHS tape of German Expressionist Horror at a lysergic bird sanctuary.  That is certainly quite a compelling illusion to linger in and Chatton Barker and McLoughlin thankfully manage to avoid ever breaking that fragile spell of strange and broken otherworldliness.  While there are only a couple of "set piece" moments in which Helios/Hind coheres into an especially focused and striking passage, such interludes are mostly just the icing on a cake of wonderfully immersive, gnawed, and gnarled outsider mindfuckery.

A sample can be found here.

 

Markus Guentner, "Extropy"

cover imageIt has admittedly been a while since I have actively followed this German composer's work, but his 2001 debut album (In Moll) spent quite some time in heavy rotation for me during the early 2000s dub- and ambient-techno boom.  In more recent years, Guentner has jettisoned the "techno" part of his previous aesthetic and devoted himself to an acclaimed run of space-inspired ambient opuses on LA's A Strangely Isolated Place.  Accordingly to Guentner, Extropy "marks the final chapter in an accidental triptych of astronomy-related exploratory albums" that began with 2015's Theia.   While the previous two epics in the series drew conceptual inspiration from the birth of the moon and the earth's relation to the largely unknown and possibly infinite universe, this latest release focuses on "the indefinite growth of the life we hold so dearly."  More specifically, Guentner was fascinated by "a pseudoscientific prediction that human intelligence and technology will enable life to expand in an orderly way throughout the entire universe."  While I personally expect nothing but entropy instead and note that this album has more of an elegiac feel than an optimistic one, there is no denying that Guenter knows how to make an absorbing and beautifully crafted album.  In fact, he may be a bit too good at it, as Extropy would be a bit more memorable if he allowed more sharp edges and eccentricities to creep into his art.  That said, this album still seems like it would be one hell of a challenge to top as far as billowing ambient cloudscapes are concerned.

A Strangely Isolated Place

According to Extropy's description, Guentner views the album as something of a return to "what some may call his early, classic sound."  I am not sure how much I agree, as I would describe much of the album as classic/textbook ambient (if unusually well-executed), as most pieces are a feast of frayed, blurred, grainy and billowing synth drones.  However, the closing "Here" does break from the pack with a subtle nod to Guentner's techno past, as deep bass tones gradually creep in to provide a sense of structure and forward motion.  To my ears, it calls to mind a ghostly abstraction of one of Seefeel's more dubby and vaporous cuts.  That is always welcome territory, but I also loved the unexpectedly sharp feedback-like tone that repeatedly burns through the bleary haze of soft-focus droneage. 

While easily one of my favorite pieces on the album, "Here" is also significant for helpfully illustrating everything there is to know about Extropy: as far as ambient music is concerned, Markus Guentner is an absolute professional with exacting standards, so the album's baseline level of quality is quite high.  However, "skillfully executed" is not the same thing as "memorable," so I especially appreciate the moments in which Guenter veered off-script into more distinctive territory.  My favorite of those moments is "Everywhere," which beautifully enhances Guenter's cloud-like swells with slicing harmonic-like streaks, a submerged chorus, and some beautifully harmonizing brass drones.  Aside from that, "Everywhere" also nods to Guentner's rhythmic past, as one section feels like warm washes of static breaking up on the shores of a brooding bass pattern.  Elsewhere, "Concept of Credence" beautifully tugs at the heart strings with a crescendo of ringing and reverberant church bells that evoke the picturesque square of a cobblestoned dream village.  The opening "Nowhere" is yet another favorite, as streaks of sharp feedback carve through a fog of flickering ghost melodies.  Nearly all of these seven pieces are excellent though.  At the moment, my gut tells me that Extropy is a very solid album with a handful of great pieces, but one that could benefit from more intrusions from field recordings, melodies, and sharper textures.  I seem to enjoy it more with each listen, however, so I may belatedly proclaim it to be a masterpiece in another five years or so (when my patience and appreciation for nuanced emotional shadings finally catches up with Guentner's own).

Samples can be found here.

 

Adam Pacione, "Any Way, Shape, or Form"

cover image Austin based composer and photographer Adam Pacione's recorded work has been largely digital over the past 10 years or so, which makes this lavish four disc collection all the more significant. Any Way, Shape, or Form complies 2009's Still Life series of subscription only 3" CDRs alongside some other unreleased and rare material from the same era, based around material recorded between 1999 and 2009.  In some ways the box is a massive undertaking, though split into comfortably bite sized pieces that perfectly capture Pacione's brand of unique ambient work, it is enjoyable in any listening arrangement.

Elevator Bath

Across these 16 compositions, Pacione works largely with gentle tones that he layers and expands, with a notable amount of consistency from piece to piece.  This makes sense given that 14 of them formed a formal series, with two unreleased works from the same era included.  Generally speaking the pieces on the first disc have an expansive, gentle drift to them.  "A Still Life" and "Dyestuffs" both lead from soft tones, the former transitioning more towards explicit melody in its later segments, the latter from the onset.  There are some bleaker, grimier moments towards the end of "They Live By Night" but overall the pieces here are made up of shimmering, beautiful, yet varied tones.

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Alapastel, "Ceremony"

cover imageThis is the second album from Slovakian neo-classical composer Lukáš Bulko and his first for Lost Tribe Sound (Ceremony is part of the label's "Salt & Gravity" series).  Fittingly, Lost Tribe's Ryan Keane was introduced to Bulko’s work by William Ryan Fritch, as the two artists occupy a similar blurry stylistic nexus where film score, classical composition, ambient music, and experimentation meet with oft-unique results.  In short, this is a quintessential Lost Tribe Sound album, as Bulko's unusual compositional approach and eclectic choice of instruments elevate this album into something considerably more compelling than most neo-classical albums that find their way to my ears.  In that regard, the epic "In The Service of Life" is Ceremony's mesmerizing centerpiece, as Bulko inventively enlivens warm ambient drones with out-of-focus smears of dissonance, gurgling didgeridoo, and surprisingly prominent jaw harp twangs.  While not quite everything on Ceremony ascends to the same level, the handful of pieces where Bulko is truly inspired are quite revelatory, as he is in a class by himself as far as compositional fluidity is concerned.

Lost Tribe Sound

The brilliance of this album is a bit understated and sneaky, as Bulko's work can often seem mannered and conventionally lovely in a way that is promising for a bright future in film scoring, yet bodes poorly for attaining my passionate lifelong fandom.  However, first glances can be deceptive and Ceremony's stronger pieces take some very inspired detours into rarified terrain, which makes this is an excellent album for deep listening, as Bulko is extremely skilled at allowing an organic psychedelia to bleed into his slow-burning compositions.  A healthy amount of Ceremony's inspiration comes from indigenous people, as Bulko has a deep interest in traditional/sustainable cultures and their rituals (he is considerably less keen on humanity's current direction).  In fact, the album's first six pieces were actually rooted in ceremonial field recordings and indigenous instrument performances from Richard Grossman and Serena Gabriel (shakers, flutes, etc.).  The other secret star of the album is Ján Kruzliak, Jr., who contributed improvised and oft-gorgeous violin and box cello performances to the same pieces.  When all of those facets are in perfect harmony and balance, as they are in "New World Healing Center," the results are incredibly compelling and beautiful.  Initially, "Healing Center" feels like a slowly heaving and lurching bit of rustic ambient, but it achieves a wonderfully shambling and precarious sense of forward motion en route to a swooningly gorgeous violin crescendo.  While I greatly appreciate Bulko's knack for groaning, smearing, breathy and whistling textures, his true genius lies in the organic fluidity of his compositions.  Part of that effect is likely due to the underlying field recordings and Kruzliak's improvisations, yet that does not make the feat any less impressive.  When Bulko is at his best, his work sounds like it is mirroring the elegant movements of a dancer's body in real time.  While he does not achieve that masterful illusion with the entire album, both "Healing Center" and "In the Service of Life" are quietly sublime stunners and several of the other pieces fleetingly reach similar heights.  The album's other lengthy pieces (“From Untold Pains” and “Flight Over Utopia”) are deeply immersive too, but "Healing Center" and "In The Service of Life" are the singular gems that make this an album worth seeking out.

Samples can be found here.

 

Trip Shrubb, "Trewwer, Leud un Danz"

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3667722917_16.jpgUnder a name (Trip Shrubb) taken from a gravestone in Northamptonshire, Michael Beckett presents a cool subterranean selection from his own 84-track transformation of one of the best records ever released: the Anthology of American Folk Music originally compiled by Harry Smith in 1952. Smith, a painter, filmmaker, and obsessive collector of everything from paper airplanes and string figures, to quilts and Ukrainian Easter eggs, curated the Anthology from thousands of 78 RPM records. Trewwer, Leud un Danz is an appropriate companion piece, which matches the obsessive nature of Smith’s vision, serves as a bizarre reminder that a lot of “old, weird, America” comes from older, weirder, Europe, and could also pass for a great soundtrack to Harry Smith’s simply wild experimental films such as Heaven and Earth Magic.

Faitiche

I am reminded of Eric Cantona, the footballer who faced criminal charges and widespread moral outrage for leaping into a hostile crowd and kung-fu kicking then thumping a particularly obnoxious fan. Asked if he wished to express regret, Cantona replied “I have one regret, I would have loved to have kicked him even harder.”  Well, no one is going to accuse Beckett of half-measures. In fact, I suggest that the reason he has sampled and "effected” the living blood, skin, and bone (plus marrow) daylights out of the original source material is because he loves it so much. Either way, he has given it an absolute shellacking. This is no pale representation of the real thing. Nor is it a smug authentication by an earnest arty type in exchange for them basking in reflected glory. The icing on this sauerkraut is that Beckett has even further disguised the material by translating song titles into the "Low German” dialect. Harry Smith himself would not recognize them in a blind hearing. I gave up trying to work out track titles after, possibly, cracking a couple. The psycho jet-lagged juju-dub rendition of "Wake up, Jacob” (originally by Prince Albert Hunt’s Texas Ramblers) lurches and swings so strangely that it could get away with being retitled "Jackie Mittoo’s Shoes In a Tumble Dryer (dub)”.

 

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Saint Abdullah, "To Live A La West"

cover imageI am a bit late to the party with this project from "NYC-based, Iranian-Canadian brothers" Mohammed and Mehdi Mehrabani-Yeganeh, as they have been steadily releasing oft-killer music since 2017.  This is their first album for Important, however, and it makes for a perplexingly unrepresentative introduction to their work, taking their more industrial tendencies in an unconventionally jazz-inspired direction with mixed results.  That said, the brothers make a conscious point of attempting to "present new ideas" with each fresh release, so a truly representative album may never exist.  Instead, each album is a snapshot of their thoughts and inspirations at one particular stage of their evolution.  Similarly, the brothers are unswervingly devoted to making their music personal by rooting it in their own stories.  Conceptually, that makes To Live A La West the Saint Abdullah album inspired by the time the brothers were allowed to attend a dance after their sixth grade graduation.  The album is quite a bit harder to define stylistically, however.  While the brothers cite Jon Hassell's Fourth World aesthetic as one major source of inspiration, I cannot think of any artists who explore similarly eclectic territory to this album’s curious mixture of free jazz and industrial-tinged experimentation mingled with shades of electronic pop and Iranian music.  To my ears, this album could not be much further from the sights and sounds of a middle school dance (even filtered through psychedelic sensibility), but the best moments achieve a kind of strange beauty akin to Carter Tutti Void teaming with up some Egyptian jazz guys to record a very strange and unconventional film soundtrack.  The other moments are considerably harder to explain, as they resemble industrial jazz vamps made by an AI whose primary influence is '80s arcade game sounds.

Important Records

This is one of those albums that starts out extremely strong, then gradually unravels and yields diminishing returns as it unfolds.  If To Live A La West began and ended with "A Lot Of Kings," however, it would be damn near perfect.  The duo are joined by trumpet player Aquiles Navarro and someone named Kol for a wonderfully simmering and smoky reverie of industrial-damaged and static-strafed jazz noir.  The first hints that something has begun to go awry appear as early as the second piece, however, as it sounds like someone is throttling a modular synthesizer over an erratic, subdued, and ramshackle drum machine beat.  It still ends up being a strong piece, as it is achieves a kind of jabbering, go-for-broke catharsis of squiggling electronic bloops, but I definitely felt that lack of a solid melodic component.  The brothers next hit the mark again with the stomping, mechanized juggernaut of "Like A Great Starving Beast," as guest John Butcher enlivens the proceedings with a fiery sax solo.  From that point onward, however, the brothers are on their own and they definitely chose a mystifying sound palette.  Historically, Saint Abdullah are at their best when they aim for something akin to an Iranian Esplendor Geométrico with a strong taste for dub and sample collage, but they largely repress those tendencies on To Live A La West.  In more concrete terms, that means that this album has plenty of cool grooves and foundational motifs, but they are almost always pushed to the background to focus on trilling sprays of blooping and bleeping melodies that elude any familiar scales or patterns.  While the mechanized dance menace of "Furthermost" is a notable exception, the rest of the album lies somewhere between "chromatic free jazz shredding on a keytar," "someone loudly playing theremin over a '90s Aphex Twin album," "a Herbie Hancock album jarringly interrupting an S&M show," and "a modular synth player trying to mimic bird songs."  Strange choices one and all and rendered even stranger by the existence of companion cassette of the same name on Cassauna.  I am not sure why the brothers chose to release two similarly uneven albums in the same vein rather than a single solid one or why they did not enlist more collaborators for their ambitious jazz foray, but I do not feel they put their best foot forward here.  In any case, Saint Abdullah is a great project and "A Lot of Kings" is a great song, but this is probably not the best place to start for the curious.

Samples can be found here.

 

Perila, "7​.​37​/​2​.​11"

cover imageThis latest release from Aleksandra Zakharenko is a "selection of soundscapes created by throughout various stages of last year" described as "subliminal moments, suspended fragments, caught between time zones."  While that description could admittedly fit quite a lot of Perila's music, 7​.​37​/​2​.​11 has a far more intimate and informal feel than this year's previous release on Smalltown Supersound (How Much Time It Is Between You And Me?).  That uncluttered, sketch-like approach suits Zakharenko quite well, as it brings out a bit more distinctive character than her more layered and produced work.  Given that Perila is one of the more consistently intriguing artists in the ambient-adjacent abstract electronic milieu, there is plenty to like (or love) about that more produced side too, but I found this more stark and simple side easier to connect with on a deeper level, as these six songs distill Zakharenko's vision to its most pure form without sacrificing any of the beauty.

Vaagner

The opening "long dizzying air through a balcony door" sounds exactly like I would expect Perila to sound when filtered through the beautifully murky melancholia of Vaagner's house aesthetic (or at least curated with that aesthetic in mind).  It is one of the more minimal pieces on the album as well, as it is essentially a spoken-word piece over a little more than a ghostly hum that rises and falls like a slow exhalation.  The words are compellingly poetic and vaguely confessional, as it Zakharenko seems to be haltingly recounting fragmented and enigmatic memories from a past spring burned deep into her psyche.  It strikes quite a mesmerizing balance of eerie and sensuous and is easily as strong as anything I have previously heard from Perila.  In fact, I would have been thrilled if it was followed by five more pieces in the exact same vein, but only a fool would expect that, as Zakharenko's music has long featured a strong element of unpredictability.  In keeping with that theme, the following "amorphous absorption" sounds like deconstructed dub techno sourced from dripping stalactites and chopped, hallucinatory voices, while the blearily melodic reverie "haven't left home 4 4 days" evokes the melancholy of a rain-soaked and cloud-darkened afternoon.  A similarly drizzly atmosphere returns for the two pieces that close the album, but "this story doesn't make any sense" detours into a gently seething and bubbling experiment in disjointed, deconstructed, and unconventional percussion that feels like it is fading in and out of focus.  It is an enjoyable piece, but the two pieces that follow even more impressive.  I especially enjoyed “Crash Sedative,” which feels like a stoned and stumbling twist on classic Bill Evans-style jazz piano.  "1 room" delves into a similarly noir-ish jazz vein, but feels too haunted and texture-focused to exist outside an especially creepy David Lynch film.

Nearly everything on the album is both good and distinctively "Perila," however, which makes this modest release an unexpectedly satisfying and absorbing album.  On a related note, Vaagnar has also issued a considerably shorter sister EP (Memories of Log) that compiles strays from one of Zakharenko's stronger collaborators with Ulla.  I expect anyone who likes 7​.​37​/​2​.​11 will enjoy that one too, as I certainly did (particularly Ulla's sublime closer "falling water lullaby").

Samples can be found here.

 

Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, "Zombi Traditions (37 Years)"

cover imageThis enigmatic Illinois collective has never been particularly keen on revealing much about themselves, but they do have something of an origin story in which the project was birthed when they fatefully discovered a section of a film trailer in an abandoned drive-in theater back in 1983.  While I do not believe they ever specified which film they found, all signs point to a George Romero or Lucio Fulci film, as "sounds from films about fake corpses constitute some of the earliest material used by Fossil Aerosol Mining Project."  In fact, the project nearly always sounds like a hallucinatory collage of badly distressed VHS tapes of Dawn of the Dead, but the project has also released several explicitly zombie-indebted releases over the course of their long and macabre career, some of which were eventually compiled on 2014's digital-only Zombi Traditions.  As befits the subject material, those already remixed, remastered, and revised pieces have been cannibalized once more for this definitive edition.  As the previous incarnations of these songs have been purged from existence, I cannot say how well these latest versions stack up against the earlier ones, but I can say that this is easily one of the best Fossil Aerosol Mining Project albums that I have heard.  To my ears, this album is the embodiment of everything I love about this project, as it perfectly captures the imagined ambiance of a late '70s/early '80s mall where the only remaining signs of life are strains of kitschy muzak and cheery announcements of incredible bargains eerily reverberating around the ransacked, rubble-strewn, and desolate halls until the electricity eventually fails.

Self-Released

Given this project’s mystery-shrouded nature, I cannot say for certain what their working methods were back in 1983 or if they have evolved at all over the ensuing four decades, but it definitely seems like the collective has an extremely purist approach to how they use their material.  It seems fair to say that one of the project’s self-imposed constraints is that all of the sounds they use must be scavenged, so the difference between a middling album and great one lies in how well the fundamentally non-musical material lends itself to musicality (and how ingenious the collective can be when the material does not).  In practical terms, that means that the essence of Zombi Tradition's aesthetic is murky ambiance conjured from hiss, garbled samples, and industrial hum, but that foundation is often enhanced with enigmatic vocal fragments, snatches of ads, and bits of repurposed muzak.

When they hit the mark, the results can be wonderfully creepy, immersive, and hallucinatory in a very unique and distinctive way.  In the case of this album, those moments mostly tend to be the longest pieces.  For example, the seething slow burn of "Damaged Years Ago" steadily swells to a haunted crescendo of inhuman-sounding backwards voices and a promise of "all the most popular brands."  Elsewhere, "Italian Resurrection" evokes the swaying industrial ambiance of a massive engine slowly churning in an enigmatic miasma of footsteps, tape hiss, and eerie vocal fragments ("help me") that bubble up from the depths.  Later, "The Shopping Mall Has Long Since Flooded" sounds like a broken radio playing flickering, unintelligible, and creepily reverberant emergency dispatches to a long-abandoned and partially submerged food court.  A couple of the shorter pieces are excellent too though.  I especially love the hiss-ravaged muzak phantasmagoria of "1983," which has the creepy, sad, and playful feel of some recent Aaron Dilloway albums.  That said, the whole album casts a wonderfully unbroken spell and the execution is unusually strong for FAMP (presumably because the material has been reworked so many times).  Given the grisly and oft-schlocky source material being repurposed, I was pleasantly surprised by the bleak beauty and subtly morbid humor of these pieces, as they never err into oppressive darkness or easy kitsch (even when a cheery voice is encouraging me to "visit often").  To my ears, this is one of the true jewels of the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project discography (if not the project’s culminating achievement).

Samples can be found here.

 

David Chatton Barker, "Twelve Stations"

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a4065780320_10.jpgOver the course of ten days twelve railway stations were visited and at each a thirty second sound recording and photograph were taken. During the train journeys, compositions were sketched onto scores and later recorded at one rehearsal evening with The City of Exeter Railway Brass Band. The twelve short tracks reflect those brief encounters, hint at the unrealized possibilities and fleeting nature of human life, and seek majesty in insignificant events. Less than eight minutes long and organized into two sections, a reissue of Twelve Stations is overdue.

Folklore Tapes

Listening to this recording is like walking along a dark street in winter and hearing a band playing in a hall half a mile away, or removing one brick from a wall in a rain-swept cemetery and straining to hear faint echoes of sound trapped for half a century. But my enjoyment of the brass band sounds, the chuff chuff, platform announcements, tracks clattering, unknown sounds fading, and the clever short duration of this piece, is one thing; context is quite another. I hesitate to compare Twelve Stations with Chris Watson’s El Tren Fantasma, but it can belong in a context also containing Flanders and Swann’s "The Slow Train” — that of a lament. David Chatton Baker's effort is a more abstract encapsulation of time passing, whereas Flanders and Swann are specifically lamenting the closure of many small railway stations in the UK as a result of a government report (March 1963):

"No one departs and no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives
They've all passed out of our lives."

Those closures arose from what I refuse to call the Beeching Report since Ernest Marples better personifies the Conservative government, with clear conflicts of interest to road construction projects. who had it drawn up. "The Slow Train" was written in July 1963 and it depicts perfectly the sense of loss which was widely felt. On August 8th, 1963, an equally infamous Great Train Robbery occurred of an overnight from Glasgow to London with 72 people on board sorting the mail by hand. The robbers, who grabbed the equivalent of $75 million, had downed phone lines in the area and escaped in getaway cars. One brave rail-man got off the mail train and onto a passing goods train before raising the alarm at a nearby town. The gang, tuning in on VHF police radio heard "A robbery has been committed and you'll never believe it — they've stolen the train!"

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The Eye: Video of the Day

Christina Carter

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Review of the Day

Back To Nature - Frank Tovey Reshaped
Cologne, 9/26/01 Whatever motivated him to reappear this spring under his original moniker, it's definitively more than the upcoming best of collection as he's back full-heartily not compromising in any means, even in front of 16,000 people longing for Depeche soulful Mode. Starting off with the sinister "State Of The Nation" he leaves few doubts that he's not smoothened out over the years. "Ricky's Hand" follows and the solid upbeat gets more people moving, stripped down to pants and boots he continues with "Collapsing New People," his semi mega hit which paved the way for the success of "People Are People" and then "Luxury," his most accessible single which earns the least response. All the time he jumps across the stage like a tortured artist in a cage, attracting all of the attention of an mainly astonished public, before he surprises everyone with a heavy technobeat version of "Chasing The Blues Away" and goes stage diving while singing. Then he continues kicking ass with gorgeous versions of "Love Parasite," "Fireside Favourite" and as final, "hands in the air - show me you are there" track, the very suitable "Coitus Interruptus." Just 40 minutes something and a relatively poor mix compared to the following act but I'm drowned in sweat and euphoria. The way he uses his body and voice to illustrate the songs is just amazing, today's music needs more performers like him.
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