Interplay Synthpop, Minimal John Foxx and the Maths All this talk of how great then was, so much concerted effort to reinforce the glory of the years 1975 - 1980. If there's a man who lived it and indeed, was it, it IS John Foxx. The original front man of Ultravox! (it's intentional, yes), he left after completing a tour of the US in 1979 which was, confrontational, to put it mildly. He issued four albums between 1980 and 1985 that are, in two words, definitively required. You would not have had Soft Cell, post-punk and it could even be argued, Fad Gadget without him. The man disappeared after 1985 and resurfaced, in a manner of speaking, with the Cathedral Oceans serial. If you haven't heard any of these or if for some reason you've been living in that proverbial cave, just buy them. To say that John Foxx is influential misses the point. He is that point. This is his latest collaborative offering. It's without doubt what Ultravox would have done if technology and personnel would have permitted it after their third album "Systems of Romance" from 1978. Foxx is about as reclusive as one can get, you don't read many interviews with him and it's all the more jaw dropping that even into his sixties he continues to define what electronic music can not only be, but also how it can sound. The man literally has no limits and if you doubt me, check out his album "The Quiet Man". I guarantee you won't be able to put it down. Just such a treat to hear him actually singing again and with such menace. For years, he hid behind effects and reverb but no more. There's enough maniacle intent to even rival his classic single 'Endlessly'. Check out the clip on the tube if you don't know it. Every time Depeche Mode (or the remnants of The Human League) do an album, people laud it for how much of a "return" it is. Some people never left or lost it and John Foxx is one of them. Very small club, by the way and there's no amount of gear or money that will enable you to buy into it. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, will not and never have no matter the witticisms tossed their way. "Interplay" is going to be discussed and referenced for a very long time and this pair just did it effortlessly. And people ask me why I have no use for numan... Foxx and the Maths sleekly compose minimal but effective rhythms, tightly wound synth lines, and then there's the atmosphere of the thing. This has all feel of a club just getting going at 3am and each denizen has a black hole in their bag. The wrok/rock reference in one of these songs is not casually thrown out there, Ultravox! fans will know what I'm talking about here. Ha, ha, ha indeed. She could pass through the eye of a needle, she's that vain... we get an album of vivid contrasts from this duo and here's praying that this isn't the only one they do. Equal parts retro and futuristic, classic yet elegantly modern in the electronic haze of today. It cuts like a glimmering blade through the mediocrity of what the underground has devolved into. I hereby nominate the song "Evergreen" for electro track of the year. Wherever I go, I will always return... 550
Brutal Resonance

John Foxx and the Maths - Interplay

10
"Legendary"
Spotify
Released 2011 by Metamatic Records
All this talk of how great then was, so much concerted effort to reinforce the glory of the years 1975 - 1980. If there's a man who lived it and indeed, was it, it IS John Foxx. The original front man of Ultravox! (it's intentional, yes), he left after completing a tour of the US in 1979 which was, confrontational, to put it mildly. He issued four albums between 1980 and 1985 that are, in two words, definitively required. You would not have had Soft Cell, post-punk and it could even be argued, Fad Gadget without him. The man disappeared after 1985 and resurfaced, in a manner of speaking, with the Cathedral Oceans serial. If you haven't heard any of these or if for some reason you've been living in that proverbial cave, just buy them. To say that John Foxx is influential misses the point. He is that point.

This is his latest collaborative offering. It's without doubt what Ultravox would have done if technology and personnel would have permitted it after their third album "Systems of Romance" from 1978. Foxx is about as reclusive as one can get, you don't read many interviews with him and it's all the more jaw dropping that even into his sixties he continues to define what electronic music can not only be, but also how it can sound. The man literally has no limits and if you doubt me, check out his album "The Quiet Man". I guarantee you won't be able to put it down. Just such a treat to hear him actually singing again and with such menace. For years, he hid behind effects and reverb but no more. There's enough maniacle intent to even rival his classic single 'Endlessly'. Check out the clip on the tube if you don't know it.

Every time Depeche Mode (or the remnants of The Human League) do an album, people laud it for how much of a "return" it is. Some people never left or lost it and John Foxx is one of them. Very small club, by the way and there's no amount of gear or money that will enable you to buy into it. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, will not and never have no matter the witticisms tossed their way. "Interplay" is going to be discussed and referenced for a very long time and this pair just did it effortlessly. And people ask me why I have no use for numan...

Foxx and the Maths sleekly compose minimal but effective rhythms, tightly wound synth lines, and then there's the atmosphere of the thing. This has all feel of a club just getting going at 3am and each denizen has a black hole in their bag. The wrok/rock reference in one of these songs is not casually thrown out there, Ultravox! fans will know what I'm talking about here. Ha, ha, ha indeed. She could pass through the eye of a needle, she's that vain... we get an album of vivid contrasts from this duo and here's praying that this isn't the only one they do. Equal parts retro and futuristic, classic yet elegantly modern in the electronic haze of today. It cuts like a glimmering blade through the mediocrity of what the underground has devolved into. I hereby nominate the song "Evergreen" for electro track of the year.

Wherever I go, I will always return...
Apr 18 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
19
Shares

Buy this release

We don't have any stores registered for this release. Click here to search on Google

Related articles

Melotron - 'Weltfrieden'

Review, Jan 01 2002

Lowe - 'Evolver'

Review, Nov 30 2011

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016