post-modern aesthetic denies the possibility of
anachronism. If time isnít a straight line, you can
never be at a wrong point. Twenty years or ten seconds
later, a good idea becomes a sublime classic. Punky New
Romantic jazz hounds become Eurodisco Ambient
Meistersingers. It all makes sense. TUXEDOMOON are
"Cabin in the Sky" is a glorious swathe of
virtuoso composition, realisation and sound collage.
Like FRANK ZAPPA without the vitriol, like ROXY MUSIC
without the Rockisms, TUXEDOMOON look down from a great
height, waving an elegant handsignal of louche disregard
for the pilled up masses on the dancefloor below. Pearls
before swine? Who gives a shit. This is the luxury end
of the market and you can take it or choke on
With DJ HELL on the credits list, a rhythmic
drive is one of the albumís recurrent features. Blaine
Reiningerís suave idlersí voice and heartbreak violin,
Steven Brownís artful clarinet and some fabulously
scored piano and trumpet are to be expected. A spiky dry
bass shows up at regular intervals, reminding anyone who
was alive in the early eighties that we all wanted a
bass to be heard as well as felt. Is SQUAREPUSHER
hanging about there somewhere? He could be. TARWATER and
John McEntire of TORTOISE certainly are.
mention these prodigious titbits as mere appetisers. The
splendid richness of this album makes it something you
really must own. It refuses to drop into the background.
Every line brings a new delight, from the
tuned-right-down electric guitar lines of opening track
"A Home Away", through the drunken clarinets of "Here
Ďtil ChristmasĒ to the ghostly shadows of the heavy
metal intro to Latin-styled "Luther Blisset". Field
recordings of steps on a tenement stairwell, a military
band and a lost civilisation or three waft in and out
like you could smell and touch them. Inventiveness never
falters and never obtrudes. You will read
"cinematographic" in other reviews. It would mean
"instead of going to the movies" rather than "you'd
expect to hear it at the cinema". I wouldn't
twelve pieces (with the sound collage of "La Piu Bella"
reprised) there is no dud. Start where you will, the
many glinting facets of the album shine out. Twists and
turns within each song are part of a continent full of
side streets, boulevards, piazzas and forgotten lanes.
Itís a journey that packs all the finery of popular
music and all the sophistication of academy performance.
Are you ready for it yet?