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The 15-track CD brings together collaborations with The Soft Moon (the post-punk psychedelia of the title-track); Gazelle Twin (including the strikingly beautiful 'Changelings'); New York duo Xeno & Oaklander; Moog maverick Tara Busch and Ghostly International's Matthew Dear, plus a Pink Floyd cover and some new Foxx/Benge material. This includes the rich analogue glow of 'Walk' and apocalyptic ballad 'Only Lovers Left Alive'. Meanwhile, regular Maths live band member Hannah Peel plays violin on 'Neon Vertigo' and 'My Town'. Evidence is John Foxx And The Maths' most atmospheric and darkly percussive album so far - built around stark, late night rhythms. The ambient spaces in the music allow for experiments with textures and mood, with dreamlike echoes of Massive Attack, dub (in spirit not pastiche), Dead Can Dance and the ultra-introspective Japan. The edgy beats of the opening track 'Personal Magnetism' are followed by 'Evidence', featuring The Soft Moon's Luis Vasquez. Layers of sound whirl around Foxx's brooding, insomniac vocals, as he searches for answers in the early hours. The slow, minimalist 'That Sudden Switch' takes the European art-movie approach of Xeno & Oaklander and re-invents it as post-dub electronic pop. 'Talk (Beneath Your Dreams)' features US electronic artist Matthew Dear taking the role of the 'sleeper' as a conversation is held in a dream. It's a chilly, nightmarish track but like much of this album it has motion - Dear adding new techno rhythms as well as a Bowie-esque vocal in the final verses. 'Neon Vertigo' furthers the noir tension with massive bass sounds and 'space violin' from Hannah Peel, while 'Changelings' is in many ways the centrepiece of the album. Originally written and recorded by Gazelle Twin, 'Changelings' only retains her voice as The Maths rebuild it completely from scratch. It's arguably one of Benge's finest moments in the studio so far, while Foxx's reverb-drenched backing vocals complete this stunning, end-of-the-world song. What follows is weirder still. 'My Town' features Peel on violin again as Foxx's metallic, distorted voice sounds like an ego on the brink of madness. Is it the voice of money/a god/bankers/an evil corporation, or a fallen rock star still living in the past? The cover of Pink Floyd's 'Have A Cigar' starts with a cackle of laughter before Foxx launches into another heavily treated vocal, not unlike that of 'My Town'. Meanwhile, 'A Falling Star' is the reverse of 'Changelings' - this time it's a Foxx/Benge track reworked by Gazelle Twin. In this context, the song becomes an icy but epic ballad, full of siren vocals and a sense of release as it stretches into the long, elegant fadeout. In fact, 'A Falling Star' does signal a change on the album as the mood evolves into something more reflective. The two instrumentals 'Cloud Choreography' and 'Shadow Memory' offer new space and textures, while 'Walk' appears to emerge half-way through a dream as Foxx sings 'and I walked through all the streets of this city' after a slow build. This final section climaxes with the electronic harp music of 'Myriads' and the last song, 'Only Lovers Left Alive' - a pretty melody found on an old discarded reel-to-reel; nostalgic, the sound of memory and tape creating one of the album's most moving tracks. Gary Numan 'John was my hero when I first started making electronic music. He's a true pioneer and seems as passionate about music today as he was then. I have a huge amount of respect for him.' Clint Mansell (Soundtrack composer - credits include Black Swan and Moon): 'John's music is man and machine in perfect harmony. Consistent quality output too. The Maths material is vibrant.'
When artists return to the fray after a long break, they are immediately forced to play their trump card.
Devoted fans will pine for new material from a retired musician for an almost indefinite period of absence. But returning stars are only guaranteed treatment like the prodigal son for a finite amount of time.
In short, comebacks can often unwittingly remind the public of why said artist was forced to leave the spotlight in the first place. But John Foxx is different.
After a lengthy hiatus from recording and playing live (between 1985 and 1997), Foxx has gone from creative strength to strength.
This is despite the second half of his career coming relatively late in life and being much longer than his initial, modest flush of popularity (as front man of the forward-looking post punk band Ultravox! and then as an early 80s synth pop star).
Evidence is his third album in as many years collaborating with east London synthesizer expert Benge (aka The Maths), and easily the best of the three.
More importantly, however, this is probably Foxx’s most superior post-Ultravox! LP to date, and definitely his best in a very long time.
Benge’s signature technique (using very old analogue equipment to create very modern textures and music) has now gelled completely with Foxx’s songwriting. This time there are no missteps or filler at all, and the production is dynamic, rich and loud.
Several well-chosen guests, each of whom bolsters the experience rather than grandstand, help the album’s pacing.
Luis Vasquez of The Soft Moon uses an ARP Odyssey (the synth all over Foxx’s 1980 solo debut, Metamatic) on the title track to create a sombre meditation which sounds musically like Joy Division, had the Mancunians continued their experiments with austere sounding synths.
Probably the best track on the album is Changelings, a remix of a Gazelle Twin song replete with new John Carpenter-esque synths and breathy 10cc-style multi-tracked backing vocals.
Elsewhere, Foxx takes Pink Floyd’s (now) slightly hackneyed anti-record label diatribe Have a Cigar and turns it into luxurious bass and bleep electro that wouldn’t sound out of place on DFA. Long may his creative renaissance continue.
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Top Customer Reviews
* anyone who creates their own electronic music will have hundreds of these 2 minute unfinished ideas
'Foxx's creative fires still burn white hot.' 4/5 MOJO
'His best music since the glory days of Ultravox and Metamatic.' 4/5 UNCUT
'A collection of possibilities; attractive angles and alternative futures.' THE QUIETUS
'This is probably Foxx's most superior post-Ultravox album to date. Long may his creative renaissance continue.' BBC MUSIC
'Evidence is the kind of timeless electronic album you can dream inside.' 8/10 CLASSIC ROCK
'Foxx's legacy has come to be revered. Foxx's third album with The Maths provides plenty of evidence why.' THE WIRE
'Escapist, dreamlike; glowing with sprawling analogue paranoia.' 8/10 BARCODE
'Another terrific lesson in analogue synth magic.' 8/10 VICE MAGAZINE
'John Foxx & The Maths are poets of electronic music and this release remains vibrant throughout.' ARTROCKER
'Dark and unsettling.' 4/5 CLASSIC POP
'Simmering in exquisite fashion.' 4/5 RECORD COLLECTOR
'Foxx's compositions exert a compelling fascination.' 4/5 DAILY MIRROR
'This Dark Lord of Synth still wields fearsome power.' Q MAGAZINE
'An album that hangs together beautifully.' 4/5 VIVE LE ROCK
You need a Benge type figure to drive you on, IMHO....
John, Benge and assorted Maths' are getting better with each release.
This is atmospheric and uplifting in equal measure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's been a while since buying a John Foxx album,pleased to say I wasn't disappointed .Some excellent collaborations included and to my mind the three stand out tracks were... Read morePublished on 2 Nov. 2013 by robert lamin
Been a fan of John Foxx and his early Ultravox work during the 1970s .... This album is pure synth electronica and very transient
...Enjoyed listening to this album very much.
deffo one for the lover of fresh sounding music and lyrics, great melodies and vocals just like the other "john foxx and the maths albumn"
i think the maths bit... Read more
Found this album quite by accident, was a big fan of John Foxx back in the day. Bought it and loved it.Published on 9 April 2013 by Andy Jones