Boomkat Product Review:
Definitive edition of ‘Metamatic’, the seminal début by John Foxx, remastered from analogue tapes and reissued with 2 x bonus discs of previously unreleased alternate mixes, lost B-sides, and a suite of 15 instrumentals echoing his obsessions with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop soundtracks. Foundational wave music!
Cutting a dashing figure in monochrome metallics, John Foxx’s classic album, Metamatics is subject of an opulent reissue, revolving the original LP’s unprecedented blend of synth-pop songwriting with suave electro and sci-fi backdrops, alongside reams of rediscovered material, totalling 49 tracks over 3 x CDs.
Timeless touchstones such as Underpass, the robotic sleaze of Metal Beat, and the signature of A New Kind of Man sound as crisp and futuristic as John Foxx originally imagined them thanks to a 2014 remastering from analogue tapes. But that much you probably know already, and its fair to say for the fans and older heads, the boxset really comes into its own on the other discs .
Disc 2 starts with an indispensable collection of B-sides, running from the sci-fi drama and sensuality of Film One via the robotic elegance of To Be With You to proto-electro + techno diamonds such as Cinemascope and Mr. No, before sharing eight alternate versions of Metamatic, including an extended mix of Underpass and a queered extension of Plaza sure to push your buttons.
On disc 3, however, he really impresses with no fewer than 21 hard-to-find or unreleased works, schlepping from the iced electronics of A Frozen Moments thru a jaw dropping suite of (mostly) instrumentals that feel like a peek behind the curtain of Foxx’s imagination in 1979-80, as he dreamed of automated cars, Nuclear energy and cybernetic culture with a Ballardian sense of description and sensuality, coming on strongest in beauties such as the proto-ghetto-tech missile Miss Machinery and a number of soundtrack-like cues.