Boomkat Product Review:
Ivan Smagghe and Rupert Cross indulge another retro-futurist fantasy. File next to your Ghost Box collection...
“When experiencing zero gravity in a space station, or bouncing weightless across the moon’s surface, looking back at Earth-as-one, most astronauts feel dizzy at the immensity of the journey they have just undertaken. A near revelation , this sudden awareness is named the Overview Effect.
Once back on Earth, these astronauts are changed. The cognitive shift of the Overview Effect plunges them into a state of melancholy: for hours at a time, they remain lost in thought. When they eventually come out of these periods of aphasia, the astronauts are unable to express what they have experienced, but often recall having heard "strange music", similar to the music they claim to have heard close to Venus or on the hidden side of the Moon.
Smagghe & Cross's second collaboration (recorded chronologically before the MA album, released last year on Often) is the first attempt to recreate this celestial music, which up until now, had only existed in the minds of enlightened spacemen. It is reminiscent of the sound of meteors entering the Earth's atmosphere, of probes sent to infinity and beyond, their echo slowly fading from the control screens. Smagghe & Cross have boldly taken the step from the strobe lights to the Milky Way
For the past two decades, Ivan Smagghe has perfected the art of making spaced-out clubbers dance, has ridden a Fine Line and run his label Les Disques de La Mort. Rupert Cross is a London-based composer who has worked with Michael Finissy and Julian Anderson as well as writing music for television and theatre.
Before/after MA, an album which sat on the fringes of experimental music passed through a industrial particle accelerator., S&C give you the tracks codenamed Timothy Dalton (according to Ivan, "The laser sound in the track reminded us of Flash Gordon"). Neither pop, nor psychedelic, nor ambient, nor house, nor techno, nor post punk nor even new wave are spared, but none are singled out.
To nurture this proto-album, which targets paradise by plunging us into the abyss, the duo also called upon the talents of Tim Felton, the outstanding guitarist from the cult band Broadcast.
When listening to Timothy Dalton, the temporal and stylistic boundaries disintegrate to give way to all sorts of speculation: imagine the beardies from Tangerine Dream being kidnapped by Soft Cell, C86 and 1988, the Silver Apples composing a space opera with the help of an electro cardiogram monitor. Or the Wizard of OZ reviewed and reworked by Psychic TV.
Eight tracks take us from the New Orderey beaches of Ostend to the rings of Saturn, and gradually unfold before our eyes like a machine to travel through time and space. So what if Timothy Dalton was a one-way ticket to the Twilight Zone?”