Cocteau Records




album review


Various Artists

I DON'T go to wine bars but I imagine this to be the type of music that is played in them. That was my first reaction to this collection from Bill Nelson's Cocteau label as Yukihiro Takahashi wafted up from the grooves. He sang "my heart is in my mouth" and it sounded like it. Yes, an affected vocal with a rather insidiously moderne backing.

But happily much of 'Signatures' is not like that opening cut. It is an album which blossoms slowly. Man Jumping offer what might be termed systems music for simpletons – not to imply any insult but as an acknowledgement of their unflustered and uncluttered ocean of sound built from a thousand interlocking acoustic ripples ... which laps pleasantly about the ears.

The best segments elsewhere have similarly measured applications of sound, formed into strange and strikingly individual essays. Bill Nelson, Nelson And Jobson (Richard), Orchestra Arcana and the Revox Cadets all fit into this bracket.

Alas Fiat Lux (they appear twice and I dozed off both times!), To Heaven A Jet and Last Man In Europe don't. They aim for the Grand and find the grandiose, all sounding like a bad imitation of Foxx-period Ultravox.


mick sinclair

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