Hold on - here's a great album to kickstart 2015 - whaddyah mean, the year's nine months old? I know, it just feels like this is the first Great Album of the year. Great Albums...are they redundant, these days? Is the idea of a great album redundant when all we seem to do is click and pick tracks, sometimes even listening to the whole track?
(I'm improvising. Sorry. That's all right, no need to apologise, you're not writing for The Guardian. And you're talking to yourself.)
I think Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Nik Colk Void improvised when they recorded these tracks in Chris and Cosey's Norfolk home. Then it was all post-production...messing around, shaping, editing, cutting etc, a bit like Teo Macero did with some Miles Davis tracks, but with FX, or f (x)?
I'm not long back from Nice. They say the past is a foreign country, well so is France, unless you're French, of course. And I come home to this. It's like coming back from a warm sunny place to a motorway up north, which you don't drive on, but get sucked along in the tail wind of an articulated lorry from the future which runs on recycled Disco beats from a nightmare Giorgio Moroder had in 1975 which involved producing I Feel Love as sung by Satan, who demanded Death Disco beats and mind-altering effects. Or it's nothing like that.
Hold on. I'm listening...
The speakers are throbbing with the first track, 2.4, loud. Listen loud. Like they used to tell you to do on albums. I would hate this album just because it's the kind of album The Guardian says you should listen to, but I can't. I would hate this album if the fact that I hate 'serious' albums which get reviewed and praised by Indie-related media and mainstreamers wasn't overwhelmed by my pleasure in hearing it. I'm hating this album because it will be on everyone's Best Of The Year lists, especially Rock critics, who long for an album like f (x) so they can appear to be in tune with the modern world - bah!
Even Chris Carter is surprised by the success of this trio. He's almost bitter about the fact that the 'important' tastemakers haven't paid them (Chris and Cosey) enough attention, the kind that generates sales and helps them pay the bills. I don't blame him. You slog away for years them BAM! - you create something that gets attention. That's how it goes, isn't it? Then, perhaps, you do something different...and 'they' don't like it. I can't see CC and CFT becoming trapped in a formula for success. Too...individualistic...?
It helps that CTV are two-parts living links to an industrial music legend like Throbbing Gristle. Back story cred for music hacks. But whilst TG were obviously urban offspring, CTV, from a Norfolk wilderness, reconnect with some of that. Unintentionally. But they were never about to produce a pastoral, ambient album, thank god. I think 'urban' because f (x) is a relentless voyage into the dark heart of the night, the kind of nights when it never stops raining, you're lost in a maze of luxury apartment construction sites where guard dogs bark as if to remind you that these homes are not for you and the sleeping cranes loom as if about to lay you into the foundations of wealth whilst distant traffic races to and from the city of dead roads....and all the time the beat goes on, the bump of a bass drum worse than any headache you ever had...and the guitar fret gets scraped like a surgeon's saw biting into your skull...and someone's almost singing but you can't distinguish her words, the siren of the Void, luring you into an abyss where things makes noises...they squawk, howl, hiss, groan, murmur, vibrate, echo...this electronic voodoo...an industrial dance of death during which you cannot help but twitch, nodding your head as you slip into darkness...consumed, going half-crazy but ecstatic...and the beat goes on as if banged on drums by a legion from some hellish alternate Studio 54 in which the white horse eats Bianca Jagger alive...do not get down and boogie but drown instead in a mix of pleasure and pain from which there's no escape...even the pause button seems to be beyond reach from where you sit, eyes half-closed, brain battered, motionless save for your innards quivering here in The Zone where Carter Tutti Void pipe sounds through empty streets as the berserk time machine twists a tornado of centuries...the whole structure of reality going up in silent explosions...(after WSB)...