negative response

You may recall us making mention of a Negative Response compilation through the Medical imprint that’s been causing a fair amount of heart skipping flutters around these here parts. Titled ‘oblique angles’, this limited collection features a select picking of remastered tracks taken from the bands three self-released cassettes from the early 80’s. as with previous visitations, Negative Responses’ want for utilizing analogue electronics and an austere dusted experimental home production, locates them on a sound spectrum, these days more commonly referred as cold war or cold wave isolationism. Eight tracks are gathered here, not a ‘best of’ as such, as the liner notes make clear mention, but more a representation of the sounds / vibes and sonic fashioning of the genre from that given era, the slow coiling tension of ‘a new beginning’ providing a perfect opening salvo soaked as it is in the post Ian Curtis shadow lights of a minimalist and bruised ‘movement’ era New Order albeit as though subsumed into some mind erasing Tristram Cary dream machine. What ‘oblique angles’ reveals with a crystal clear clarity is that the overriding silent guiding influence here is John Foxx, at various points he appears ghost like at various junctures, the pre Blitz era / faded and embryonic new romanticism of ‘Citizens Europe’ arriving possessed of the same clinical ice frosted monochrome that sparsely toned the chilled futurism of ‘Metamatic’. With its sky signing siren lights, ‘calm before the storm’ is pure pre ‘new life’ era Depeche Mode as were found checking out the blueprints of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s self-titled debut for source inspiration, while elsewhere the spirit of McCluskey and Humphreys is clear and apparent on the close intimacy of the love noted ‘touch’. Those with distant memories might well hear echoes of both Some Detergents and Modern Eon sullying and muting the bruising primitive pop toning of the strangely upbeat ‘honesty’. Over on side 2, ‘sorrow’ shifts its sonic perspective somewhat, a sweetly melancholic sortie that has an imagining of a some secret and later aborted Peel session studio séance between a Cure c.80 and a youthful Passage, while ‘time after time’, clearly the most pop appealed cut here, we mentioned in passing briefly last week – see All said though, best moment of the collection by some distance, ‘utopia’ pilots a curious mutant dub doped disco hybrid that had I not known any better, would have hazarded an awkward guess, was the work of a collective formed from various members of Throbbing Gristle, Clock DVA and a mark one variant of the Human League fixed hypnotically under the guiding influence of 23 Skidoo. Recommended.



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