Boomkat Product Review:
Color Tapes floor us again with a reissue of Modern Art’s debut 1982 album of bitter coldwave and aching pop dirges, forming a perfect entry point to the pivotal world of Gary Ramon, who would go on to record with Coil and Current 93, among others.
Arriving in the wake of inspirational releases from Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA and Throbbing Gristle, Modern Art’s Underwater Kites pinched those templates into a range of nervy, minimalist styles porous to influence and defined by the moody character of Gary Ramon’s vocals and his feel for expressive, evocative melody.
As the founder of Color Discs/Color Tapes, there’s reams of evidence that Ramon was a proper locus for the post-punk scene at that time, and his output can be heard as perfectly symptomatic of what was going on in England during that time.
Underwater Kite epitomise the open-ended diversity of that era, adroitly encompassing everything from wiry, Suicide-like night-stalkers such as Hello/Goodbye and spaced-out minimal wave comparable with John Bender or The Normal in TV Screen or Images In Sand, whereas Landscape From A Dream is up there with Martin Hannett and Joy Division’s most atmospheric productions, and the remarkable Tropic Of Cancer shimmies into dubbed-out 4th world electro and Monochrome Dance hits a scratchy blue boogie strut for brilliant unusual balance.
Whether you’re the crankiest wave fiend or fresh-faced newcomer, this one is really worth your time!