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- 10cc 24 Hours (Intro)
- Salem Water
- Night Moods The Optimist (Edit)
- Thomas Dolby Urges
- Michael Shrieve Nucleotide
- Steve Winwood Spanish Dancer
- Oneohtrix Point Never Memory Vague
- Phil Collins Thru These Walls
- Brother Raven Happy Astronaut
- Peter Gabriel Lead A Normal Life
- Hype Williams Silkhhh
- Marianne Faithfull The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
- The Derelict Ghost Channels (Edit)
- Tony Banks By You
- 10cc 24 Hours (Outro)
I had a couple of specific aims in mind with this mix, which were a) to explore how comfortably some 1980s mainstream pop sits alongside some of today’s lo-fi electronic music and b) to illustrate how artists often considered irredeemable, such as Phil Collins, have more to offer than the until-recently-dominant post-punk critical discourse would have us believe.
Most will be aware that Collins’s trilogy of solo albums from 1980 to 1985 (Face Value, Hello, I Must Be Going! and No Jacket Required) spawned some hugely successful pop songs. Closer inspection reveals that many of these tracks are replete with nagging sonic details – witness the woozy synth and fuzz guitar of ‘Thru These Walls’, included here. Collins’s Genesis bandmates Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel also appear in this mix, similarly illustrating how 70s progressive rock musicians adapted to the post-punk 80s. As with Collins, their experimentation became focused less on extended modular compositions and more on textural adventurousness within a concise pop song format.
It’s worth noting here that prior to his solo career Collins worked extensively with experimental rock veterans Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, and was so impressed by the drum sound on Public Image Ltd’s Flowers Of Romance (which had itself been influenced by the pioneering ‘dry’ drum sound created by Collins, Hugh Padgham and Steve Lillywhite for Peter Gabriel’s third solo album) that he hired engineer Nick Launay for his own subsequent projects. Furthermore, rather than being easy-to-dismiss exercises in bland smuggery, the first couple of Collins’s solo albums bear unmistakable traces of his art-rock background. Perhaps it’s understandable then, that a song such as ‘Thru These Walls’ can be placed between Oneohtrix Point Never and Brother Raven without seeming all that incongruous.
Joseph Stannard contributes to various music publications including The Wire and Mojo. The Outer Church is an uncanny audiovisual event based in Brighton, UK. For more information visit: http://www.
Joseph Stannard (The Outer Church)