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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Pastoralism
This is of course not John Foxx's first instrumental album, as an earlier commentator claims, but his fourth. The mistake is a telling one, however, for there have been not one but two John Foxx's since leaving Ultravox following the unsurpassable (and recently remastered) _Systems of Romance_. The first is the vocalist and lyricist who drew on the psychogeography of the...
Published on 19 Jun. 2006 by Christopher Keep

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music to relax to.......
Not that i like to point out errors in reviews, but this is NOT john foxx's first instrumental album (see Cathedral oceans i, ii ,iii for example, or translucent drift music with harold budd). As instrumentals go, this is not the best or the worst i have heard. I was slighlty disappointed that Foxx has not followed up 2003's Crash and Burn with another stomping piece of...
Published on 8 Jun. 2006 by me


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Pastoralism, 19 Jun. 2006
By 
Christopher Keep (London, Ontario, CANADA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
This is of course not John Foxx's first instrumental album, as an earlier commentator claims, but his fourth. The mistake is a telling one, however, for there have been not one but two John Foxx's since leaving Ultravox following the unsurpassable (and recently remastered) _Systems of Romance_. The first is the vocalist and lyricist who drew on the psychogeography of the city, car crashes, vacant plazas, and anonymous encounters in neon light. This was the John Foxx that was first introduced with _Metamatic_ and has continued with his more recent collaborations with Louis Gordon.

The other John Foxx was an ambient instrumentalist who seemed to long for the pastoral landscapes of a half-forgotten England, taking refuge in abandoned churches and medieval monasteries. This was the John Foxx responsible for the three volumes of _Cathedral Oceans_ and an accompanying DVD.

Occasionally the two came together, as on his sophomore solo effort, _The Garden_, but generally the two seemed to keep their safe distance. That is until the release of _Tiny Colour Movies_.

Here we have all the sensitive attention to timbre and tone that we have come to expect from _Cathedral Oceans_, combined with a distinctly modernist appreciation of the urban landscape: analogue synths gurgle and bubble, light metronomic beats keep a steady but unobtrusive pulse, and the whole has a distinctly cinematic feel. A lovely cd and highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiny Colour Moodswings, 14 July 2006
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
For those expecting a vocal album to place alongside the powerful 'Crash And Burn', this ain't it.

For those wanting an electronic journey that stops off at famililar and homely places, this is the one.

Foxx has every right to determine the path of his own electronica as he reaches the twilight of his career. The man virtually discovered palatable electronica music for popular music lovers after rightly deriding punk for being a bit crap.

TCM is absolutely gorgeous in it's depth of swooning early '80's synthesizer pieces. They build and allow the listener a few moments of thinking not all ambient music is overwrought and a bit dirgey!

This is wonderful and if you spent your youth playing the 'b' side to 'Cars' with the curtains closed, then this is the album for you. If like most sensible people you didn't, this is chill out with a bit more thought. And as most of that scene rips off Eno, why not listen to someone that Eno actually rates?

Oh, it's a lot different to the Cathedral Oceans series, so don't lump 'em in together...

ia
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a new foxx era, 15 Jun. 2006
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This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
this is an exceptionally pleasant change for john foxx with excellent results. all instrumental tracks, with the ethereal music style of the cathedral oceans series with touches of kraftwerk and vangelis meets jarre!! after reading the booklet you can almost imagine watching the small movies that the music forms a background to. worth every penny!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edges of time leaking through, 9 Oct. 2006
By 
turly (Barcelona, Spain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
According to the (excellent) sleeve-notes, the inspiration for the album was the film collection of Arnold Weizcs-Bryant: a couple of dozen movies, none more than 8 minutes long, made "for the sheer pleasure of film." Intrigued, Foxx wrote "scores" for some of these, this album is the result.

And it's a very good one, all told. A (jocular?) homage to 'Autobahn' in 'Looped Los Angeles' (apparently one of the AW-B movies is of nothing but traffic moving on the highways of LA); 'Stray Sinatra Neurone' and 'Skyscraper' among others put one in mind of Cathedral Oceans, but tracks here are distinct, evoking very different moods; they stand alone.

It is my favourite album of his instrumentals; in fact, it is jostling with _The Golden Section_ as my favourite album of his.

Listen and hear for yourselves - you won't be disappointed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snapshots, 10 July 2006
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
There are quite a few artists who write music for imaginary films - Barry Adamson and Paul Haig being notable musicians, so when I heard about the Tiny Colour Movies project, I presumed it was the same. It's not. The films John has soundtracked actually exist, though all are very short. Check out the great booklet for more info.

As for the music...I was expecting more "up tempo" tracks and there are a couple on there, the best being the wonderfully long Kurfurstendamm. A lot of the others tend to have been recorded while he was wearing his ambient hat. Some are stark, some warm, but all are wonderfully recorded and relaxing.

A worthy album to be added to your John Foxx arsenal and a great album when you're sitting in a traffic jam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A nice surprise!, 27 Nov. 2011
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
Wont go into the individual tracks on this album but as a whole album I was pleasantly surprised. I bought my first Foxx album Metamatic on lp back in the day and gave up around four albums in. So many years on I was surprised that Mr Fox was still producing albums like a breeding rabbit. So take the plunge I did and bought all the albums I had missed. Some are lyrically predictable with the word "sidewalk" been used on a fair few tracks but overall this fella who is now in his more mature years is still producing fantastic music. Tiny Colour Movies is a breath of fresh air. I found all the Cathedral Ocean series a little too "ambient" for me but this has a much simpler and fresher sound to my ears. Think a bit of Vangelis with a touch of William Orbit thrown in for seasoning and your not too far away. He will be drawing his state pension soon and needs all the money he can! Great album John keep producing fantastic songs and what the he'll happened to the CS80?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By popular request..., 22 May 2006
By 
A. G. Bailey "Dadge" (Birmingham, - United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
...John Foxx has brought out his first-ever all-instrumental album. And it's quite a work of art. It's kind of modern electro retro futurist chill-out. :)

I shan't name names, but each track reminds me of a different famous electronic artist/group, added to elements of John's own sound, all updated and fresh for the new millennium.

Excellent CD booklet too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cat in heat / mistress of deceit, 30 May 2007
By 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
I only know of John Foxx's music from the early 1980s, when he was a cold urban futurist who wore a shirt and tie and sang off-key. This music is futuristic as well, but it is warm and likeable. It's also very simple. Most of the tracks are just a few synth washes, or some burbling sequences, but the production is attractive, and complicated enough so that it isn't boring. "Looped Los Angeles", for example, only has thirty seconds of music, which is repeated a dozen or so times until six minutes have passed, but it is not tedious. "Kurfurstendamm" is the most conventional track, with an extremely simple glam rock drumbeat and some rhythmic synthesiser twangs, and it is hypnotising over its seven-minute length. "A Peripheral Character" also has drums, including a very deep big bass drum.

The album has an attractive retro sound, which adds to its charm. The electronic noises are a mixture of 70s-style lush synthesisers and slightly harsher 80s-style digital effects ("The Projectionist" and "X-Ray Vision" remind me of those PPG Wave synthesisers that were popular in the 1980s). The drums on "A Peripheral Character" have the tinny, fizzy air of Roland's ancient CR-78 beatbox. The overall effect is warm and likeable, and incredibly tasteful. I am fascinated with electronic sound, and I loved the sound of this record.

But. Most of the tracks are quite short, and they consist of one single idea each, although several of the tracks sound very similar - as if John Foxx had doodled with some synth presets on his keyboard. The album is never displeasing, because John Foxx has good taste in synth presets, and in doodles, but it feels insubstantial. I would have preferred a couple more Kurfurstendamms and fewer Shadow Cities. The album reminds me of those BBC Radiophonic Workshop compilations, where there are tantalising glimses of music which are over in forty seconds without developing.

The word "cinematic" is often overused by writers who write about instrumental music, because it is hard to write about instrumental music, in the same way that it is hard to talk about the taste of wine. "Hand-Held Skies", the last track, is cinematic. It builds up to a cinematic crescendo, in a cinematic way. The album as a whole is not quite cinematic; the intimate electronic sounds would work well on the soundtrack to an impeccable television show about modern art, it does not generally have an epic scope. It's pleasant, but it's a shame there wasn't more meat.

In summary, my favourite tracks were "Kurfurstendamm" and "Looped Los Angeles", which are loveable, and "Hand-Held Skies" and "Skyscraper", which encapsulate the rest of the album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro-Futurism, 5 Dec. 2006
By 
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
We have actually seen Tiny Colour Movies. The films were shown in November 2006 by John Foxx as part of the Brighton Film Festival.

The booklet that accompanies the CD explains that the music came about as a response to viewing these films, which are in the possession of an American collector called Arnold Weizcs-Bryant. The films are the opposite of standard Hollywood fare - they are short, enigmatic, private movies, made for the most part from Super-8 footage.

And what of the music? Well, the tracks are for the most part equally brief, enigmatic and introspective. Most are beatless, composed of washes of synthesizer sound; they are spacious, nostalgic and melancholy. They stay around for long enough to establish a mood, then you're on to the next piece (like looking at paintings in an exhibition, I think). These tracks are punctuated by longer pieces structured by beats and sequenced loops.

Our favourite track is `Looped Los Angeles'. It starts off simply as a pulsing rhythm and a stately, Kraftwerkian melody. As the track develops the background becomes richer while the melody grows little accents, countermelodies and ornate frills.

It's a wonderful album of ambient soundscapes. The whole thing weighs in at 41 minutes - just long enough to intrigue you, not so long that you get bored by it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music to relax to......., 8 Jun. 2006
This review is from: JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES (Audio CD)
Not that i like to point out errors in reviews, but this is NOT john foxx's first instrumental album (see Cathedral oceans i, ii ,iii for example, or translucent drift music with harold budd). As instrumentals go, this is not the best or the worst i have heard. I was slighlty disappointed that Foxx has not followed up 2003's Crash and Burn with another stomping piece of synth blitz, but we cant have everything.

Tracks swish in and out and i played it to a non foxx fan who said it sounded like womb music........... What more can i say. Foxx has produced an album of 'art', small pictures or movies in time, which would look good as an exhibition. The sort of sound that plays in the background at avante garde museums as you stroll around on a hot summers day.

This is not POP, this is ambience..........
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JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES
JOHN FOXX / TINY COLOUR MOVIES by John Foxx (Audio CD - 2006)
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