Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Where Does Your Mind Go? - Expo 70

My mind keeps going blank when I try to talk about this album. I’ve had several small crises (is that possible?) over the last few days, relating to the very nature of describing music; nature, meaning and validity, I might add. That’s personal validity of course as opposed to general because writing about music in review-form will always be valid....won’t it? Maybe not, now that we’re often able to hear previews for ourselves.
   There’s a quote about writing and music which uses dancing to architecture as an analogy, if I remember rightly. At time like these it seems apt and true.
   Here are some lines previously written about this album:

‘James Wright sets the controls for the heart of his musical universe and you’re in for a 74min journey of super-stereo sounds that shimmer, drone, pulsate and float through four stages on this homage to the golden age of synthesised dreams.’

‘Ordinarily I wouldn’t trust anyone who calls a track ‘Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight’. Would you?’

‘Japan’s Expo 70 slogan was ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’, which is a noble but meaningless ideal.’

‘One may use this album to enhance a journey through the doors of perception, and engage in transcendental meditation with the aid of chemicals, but I don’t, being the down-to-earth type who prefers a cup of tea.’

‘If, as appears to be the case when I flick through the musical mediascape, 80s synth music exerts a strong influence today, the previous decade’s Moog voyagers also make themselves heard, channelled through the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never Return, Arp and here, especially, in Expo 70.’

‘Ancient Hawk Soul Takes Flight’ (I do forgive him that title) arrives at a very interesting place about 6mins in, where it becomes less about California dreamin’ than cosmic disorientation which increases until it becomes something like a sonic representation of the cosmonaut’s trip in ‘2001’.’

‘...on ‘Transgressing Outward Which Is Inward’, piano-playing which evokes Alice Coltrane’s ethereal sound rewritten for the future as it was, in 1970, of course.’

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