England - Full Moon 57 - 06/06/01
Return To X
Former bassplayer of the acid jazz formation The Sandals is back with a new album Return
To X. Simmonds is not a newcomer in the game. He has worked with several projects both as a
producer and a musician. Juryman was his first big solo project but he's also produced tracks
for Leftfield and Pressure drop. This new album is released on the German label STUD!O K7, which
in the early years produced videos about the punk and independent scenes featuring artists like
Nick Cave and Einsturzende Neubauten. But the arrival of techno and house music also exerted its
influence and in the following years they invented a visual language for this new music. The
idea of launching digitally generated videoclips with some special DJ mixed sets on CD, the
X-MIX, was a big success and many of the leading DJs went over to the label.
The album is an exciting journey between various musical "soundscapes", a kind of post modern
approach by breaking down barriers between different musical traditions like jazz, dub, electronic
and soundtracks format. Classic instrumentation is combined with jazz drums, synthesized sounds and
a spinet! (where are the Stranglers...) It contains some brilliant moments with delicate floating
mood pieces and repetitive patterns. There's also a certain nostalgic cinematic quality about some
of the tracks. Its strength is the variation in the songs, they are never predictable, and also
the emphasis put on the melodic sound.
Best moments: Swingin Millie with almost a folky bass tune, the mysterious Ocean
Hill with some interesting drumbeats and at last the almost meditative Jet.
Distribution in Norway: Tuba!
Copyright © 2001 Mariann Skjerdal