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Voltaire 808

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Best For A Long Time, 27 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Lux (Audio CD)
Having been a little underwhelmed by Eno's recent output I must admit that I wondered how Lux would fair. I have to say that, for me, this is Brian's finest ambient offering since The Shutov Assembly back in the early 90's. It easily ranks as one of his finest ambient releases full stop and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to any fan of the genre.


7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity, 23 Feb. 2012
This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
I have been looking forward to this release since I first read about it at the tail end of last year. All of the albums here represent Simple Minds at their best and even though you can see a naivete in some of the Life In A Day material I still think that the majority of it stands up well given the context of when it was recorded and the bands influences at the time. Who cares if it sounds a bit like Roxy/The Velvets/Sparks when these were fine bands to be filtering into your work in the first place? Also I happen to love the fact that the track 'Life In A Day' sounds like the original Brookside theme...Phil Redmond must have been a fan. Also,let's not forget that in less than a year they had dived into a very risky experimental dark blue pool that was Real To Real Cacophony. No the music is sublime and the extra tracks make this a worthwhile purchase, however I think that the X5 release is pretty shoddy overall. My reason for stating this is simply down to the way that this material has been packaged and presented. To say it looks cheap is frankly the most honest way I can describe it.

The extra material should have been bolstered and included on a seperate disk for a start. I think that certain albums need to be listened to in their intended context and not just as selection of tracks. Real To Real's album closer 'Scar' is a perfect example of how a track works in the context of an albums overall structure. When listened to at the end of the Real To Real album it leaves you with a very deep impression. The track closes the album perfectly. Now you have Kaleidoscope following it which for me ruins the moment somewhat. Don't get me wrong,I love this song but I don't want it bolted on to the end of an album that ends so perfectly. I know that nowadays people are gonna transfer stuff onto their iPods so this won't necessarily be a factor for them but I'd like to think that the material was left alone and that extras were given the benefit of their own disk so that the original albums can stand alone. I recall how Bowie's 90's reissues suffered in the same way because tracks were tagged on to them which somewhat ruined their flow and it was interesting to note that when they were reissued again in the next decade the extra tracks had been removed.

The ommission of any booklet or inner sleeve information is unforgivable though. I bought the reissue vinyl replica editions back in 03 and they were far better than these flimsy editions. To be honest the sleeves look cheap and with the exception of Son's/Sister Feelings, which is presented as a double, none of them have spines! Ok, so they are going to be presumably stored in the clamshell box but that's not the point surely? If you are going to market this material as having a replica sleeve give it a replica sleeve and not a cardboard envelope. I don't recall any of my original vinyl albums having sleeves as cheap looking as this so what kind of replica are the bods at Virgin referring to?

Still for those that have not heard these albums this is a very worthwhile purchase as the music on all five of these albums is sublime and well worth investigating. Empires And Dance still stands up for me as one of the best produced and pioneering albums released in that fertile post punk era. John Leckie is always name dropped as the genius behind The Stone Roses first album but compared to that(in my view) quite conservative and retro sounding album, his work on Real to Real and Empies and Dance is awe inspiring.

Overall then a bit of a dissapointment, not for the music but because of the way it has been presented and packaged.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2012 4:12 PM GMT

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Need Of A Remaster, 22 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Visage (Audio CD)
It really is about time that this album was reissued with maybe some extras and remastered sound. When you take into account that a great deal of this era's albums including those by Ultravox, Japan, Magazine, (even the first few Duran Duran albums have now been reissued twice in various formats and box sets) have had the remastering treatment it's a rather a sorry state to see this album forgotten about.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2011 12:31 PM GMT


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music For Stowaways ruined!, 22 Oct. 2011
This review is from: 1981-2011 (Audio CD)
Right, I have just received this box set and admit I only really purchased it to get my hands on a remastered version of the seminal Music For Stowaways. Well I never would have guessed it... What do I discover upon playing the CD back? Only that Decline Of The West one of the best tracks from Music For Stowaways has been cut! Extraordinarily badly cut I might add, and quite unnecessarily in my view. Why has this been done? Well I can only assume it was for reasons of space, so that an extra track could be tagged on to the end. But to spoil an album like this so that you can include a seven minute demo taster for the next B.E.F. release - Music Of Quality and Distinction Vol 3 is really ham fisted and cheap. You either value the material you are releasing or you don't. If you don't then why, as in this case, bother re-issuing it at all?

When you consider the time and effort put in to the earlier excellent Penthouse and Pavement Heaven 17 release, to discover this sloppy lazy editing is really annoying. I can't believe Martyn Ware sanctioned this?! It's not even as if this version has been done with any thought or care - the music just starts half way through with absolutely no regard for the original dynamics of the track.

I know that the full version of Decline Of The West is available on the reissue of Penthouse and Pavement and I'm assuming that was why it was considered okay to cut it here, but really this is surely not the point. An album like Music For Stowaways should be respected as the pioneering electronic work it so surely is, not ruined to make room for a demo!!! This is not good enough I'm afraid and completely at odds with the quality one used to expect from a B.E.F.release.

I'm sure there are other fans out there who, like me, have been waiting for Music For Stowaways on CD for a long time. Now when it finally gets an official release we are given this tossed off version seemingly with the approval of one of its originators. A begrudging two stars but only because I now have Glenn Gregory's rendition of Wichita Lineman on CD for the first time.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2013 9:40 PM GMT

Price: £437.69

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Then add to your collection!, 15 July 2011
This review is from: Sbtrkt (Audio CD)
I just wanted to say that this is a very rewarding album and quite quite lovely. I listened to it on headphones initially and was immediately impressed at how expansive and warm it sounded. Even on a set of inexpensive ear phones this album sounds great! SBTRKT is well produced, sonically inventive, has infectious melodies and is highly recommended!

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