Sunday, August 7, 2016
OSCILLATIONS: EVIDENCE OF TIME TRAVEL by JOHN FOXX & STEVE D'AGOSTINO
John Foxx and Steve D’Agostino’s all instrumental EVIDENCE OF TIME TRAVEL (2016) reveals its conceit through the use of vintage analogue instruments (especially drum machines) that provide warmth and grit beyond the “boiled” (thanks, D.H. Lawrence) code of software programs. A visual component is provided by Karborn, whose images dissolve and morph as in a dream. While sound and imagery remind me a bit of electro-noise pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, let’s remember that John Foxx’s METAMATIC (1980) is probably the finest “synth-pop” record ever recorded in its use of skeletal electronics in the context of “popular” song. EVIDENCE OF TIME TRAVEL has been criticized for its use of pop structures instead of more experimental strategies, but let’s face it, John Foxx never travelled the noise as art road at all. Just listen to “Hiroshima Mon Amour” from Ultravox’s HA-HA-HA album (1977) for the drum machine and synth sounds that are explored and expanded here.