Jamie Tiller and Raphael Top-Secret give a teasing glimpse of their digging muscle on Uneven Paths. Compiling twenty-one tracks that fall under the broad heading of Euro-Pop, and the slightly narrower one of Art, or Avant. All privately pressed, or released on tiny independent labels, between 1980 and 1991. Some of them not even listed on Discogs. Never mind there being any reasonably-priced copies for sale. Oddball songs and poetry set to music. From the forgotten edges of New Wave. Lifted from LPs, 12” B-sides, and 7s. Most of the pieces are mid to downtempo`d, and could be described as Spoken Word. Linguistically it`s a melting pot. As the musical baton is passed from, unifying – on vinyl at least -, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, and the UK.
The liner notes detail stories of Post-Punk scenes, and Performance Art. Emerging electronics, and albums lost to data corruption. World Music fusions, Peruvian Folk, and Parisian cabaret. Short-lived off-shoots of Les Disques Du Crepuscule, fashion designers, and attempts to translate colour into sound. Sonically drawing comparisons at times with Laurie Anderson`s Mr. Heartbreak, Modern Mathématiques, Lena Platonos, Propaganda, 3 Mustaphas 3, and C Cat Trance. There are guitar lines from West and North Africa. Oriental tones, metallic chimes, and synthesised chants. Wildlife chatter and Jungle Funk.
Dubbed-out rhythms. Proto-House, melodica and Rock`n`Roll riffs. Smart writing and Blue-eyed A.O.R. a la Michael Franks, misanthropic Disco, and cute Boogie. Mixed in with the Pop, and DIY Electro rumblings, there`s a lot of Jazz. Flutes, pianos, and sax providing solos and melody. Nonobstant`s Jessica is Brazil-borrowing, Macumba-like Fusion. A precursor to Early Sounds Recordings contemporary groove. Xavier Jouvelet`s Oeuf En Clock shares the sunset vibes of Mushi & Lakansyel`s Kalalou. Vocodered and whispered with six strings gently, Balearic-ally, picked.
The standout, perhaps, though comes from Pete Brandt`s Method. The double-bass and clarinet Rhumba of What You Are. A love song sung in a radio-star croon.
You can order a copy of Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991 directly from Music From Memory.