tue 11/08/2020

CD: John Foxx - B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) + John Foxx & Steve D'Agostino - Evidence of Time Travel | reviews, news & interviews

CD: John Foxx - B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) + John Foxx & Steve D'Agostino - Evidence of Time Travel

CD: John Foxx - B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) + John Foxx & Steve D'Agostino - Evidence of Time Travel

A two soundtrack album onslaught from original synth-pop pioneer

B-Movie - a Ballardian head case

John Foxx was one of electro-pop’s original instigators. His alienated synth sound and Ballardian sci-fi vision defined the genre in its early days. He was, for instance, an acknowledged influence on Gary Numan who became a global star in 1980 as a result. Foxx did not, but his Metamatic album is still regarded as an important stepping stone in electronic music’s development. With a sideline in academia and graphic conceptual art, Foxx retains a rabid fan-base who follow his every move. He’s also extraordinarily prolific, recording at least twenty albums since the millennium, including collaborations with Jori Hulkonnen, Harold Budd, Louis Gordon and synthesizer archivist Benge. With this in mind, it’s no surprise to find he’s now releasing not one album but two.

Foxx is, then, a recording artist of the 21st century, and has a very direct relationship with his fans. There’s thus less necessity to vet what he releases than was traditional in the pre-digital music industry. He puts masses of material out there and lets people choose what they like. Both albums are instrumental soundtracks to films created with artist-filmmaker Karborn. The collaboration with long-term underground avant-techno bod Steve D’Agostino is based around an abstract “investigation of the terrors and pleasures of temporal displacement” (it says here). It consists of 11 tracks of sparse electro, haunted by twitchiness rather than groove, uneasy background music.

B-Movie, however, is a richer listening experience, harking back in places to Foxx's Eighties work. Karborn's collage film was inspired by JG Ballard, but some of it throbs with dark, android clubland energy, especially the epic “Velocity Logic” and “Crash Course”, while “The Other Side” is an echoing piano piece redolent of Erik Satie. The album plays twice, once with the tracks segued into each and once without (with an extra piece inserted called “Dashboard Melt”). I’m bemused as to why Foxx has done this but perhaps it’s a conceptual thing that his more obsessed devotees may enjoy. It is, nonetheless, an enjoyable slice of smart, moody electronica.

Overleaf: Watch John Foxx and Karborn's 25 minute film B Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica)

'B-Movie' is a richer listening experience, harking back in places to Foxx's Eighties work

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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