First time on vinyl for this unnervingly bittersweet and unpredictably unhinged slice of bedroom pop life from members of DIY heroes The Homosexuals, 1981.
“Amos and Sara were one of the twentieth century’s greatest musical polymath duos, equally adept at composing, conducting, performing and theory. Their style was similarly varied, ranging from the dense expressionism of their early one-act operas, to the vast symphonies of their maturity. Like several important composers of the period, they were opponents of bourgeois culture, with a political commitment to making ‘useful’ music (Gebrauchmusik) that was direct in its appeal, and in which they succeeded with high creative intelligence. Their standing, as seminal figures of modern music, was partly undermined by their diversity, but their reputation never really declined, and has undergone a huge reappraisal in recent years.
Amos and Sara Sing The Private World of Amos (1981) represents what was, at the time, a distinct move back towards traditional melody, but which is contradicted by discomfiting messages to a nightmare world, and depictions of struggles of personal and political power. Its various presentational structures include laments, subjugations, and expressions of the peasant’s hatred of their lords, in the context of a sometimes overwhelming multiplicity of subject themes: moral negotiation, mistrust, social class, distress, comedy, wild adventure, chemical derangement, as well as anarchic joy, and love.
The work shows great technical expertise, but it is far from being a didactic display of classical orthodoxy, as everything here is subjugated to deeply felt personal expression. There are moments of sonorous beauty, but also atonal punctuations – as well as contrapuntal moments – all of which are radical departures from the orthodoxies of then traditional forms, such as punk.
The lucidity and rhythmic expression of this recording, and its remarkable themes, ensures ongoing recognition of this work as one of Amos and Sara’s finest achievements. Neal Brown (Tesco Bombers) - London, England. 2016”