"...Rumours have been dripping down from Scotland about a diverse horde of determined post Skids / S. Minds / Scars groups all ready to shift our attention. Positive Noise, Altered Images, JosefK, Orange Juice . . . the newest rumours centred around The Associates, who it seems were refining the vision of 'Station To Station', who it seems had a singer who sang like that particular Bowie. He wasn't copying, that's how he really sang - from deep inside, neo-operatically (...) The Associates have things in common with Magazine worth talking about. That European feel for a start, which basically stems from their liberating remoteness from standard r'n'r influences: the logic and out of the blue maturity of their sound: a Kurt Weill caught up with John Barry cabaret tension: and a respect for the irrational. Billy Mackenzie is vocally reminiscent of Bowie: but Bowie has never sung with so much delightful range and subtlety, never really had to. Mackenzie's soul singing is in the pained, proud tradition of Holiday and Garland. He'd be comfortable and do a great job singing 'Windmills Of My Mind' (he almost does on 'Even Dogs In The Wild'). An artist at communication, he takes intense care over enunciation - the shape of words and the space between them. His vocals are either a folly or something very special: I reckon a little of the former, a lot of the latter.The Associates sound is somewhere between evocative Cure and dramatic Magazine: a passionate cabaret soul music, a fulfillment of the European white dance music Bowie was flirting with back then. It is a fabulist (as opposed to surrealist) entertainment vitiated by a cool sense of art. Don't look for message or moral - the songs affect a dreamlike incompleteness but are not unprincipled or uncaring. They develop an account of the various mechanisms by which people remain trapped in boredom, abstraction, essence. With Mackenzie's obsessive flamboyance, the invariably plangent melodies, the richly fragmented detail of the songs, The Associates are undoubtedly theatrical. But their sense of theatre is natural, even profound, not the usual pop flash-trivia. The Associates are real performers"... Paul Morley (NME) 1980
lunedì 14 febbraio 2011
sabato 5 febbraio 2011
Rarely has a band been blessed by italian musical magazines as Out of Time in the middle eighties. The group sprouted from Bra (a little town not so far from Turin) that even more than the major towns was a kind of fertile Paisley Underground territor at the time. This movement heralded the return of guitars to rock 'n' roll and sixties sounds offered a more musically proficient complement to the town's rising punk scene. Their idols were bands like The Long Ryders & The Dream Syndicate. It might seem quaint looking back now, but Out of Time and their peers were a revelation at the middle of that decade – a period still reeling from Italian disco or wave-gothic trends, the emerging prominence of the studio producer, and the diminution of the guitar. But the sound of the Rickenbacker re-emerged in music scenes across Europe in those years, including the Paisley Underground and later the garage revival groups. Out of Time were definetly a real power pop band altoght often influenced by the jangly guitar sound of the Byrds and by the Rolling Stones sogwriting as they also added touches of Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield to their music. The group's breakthrough debut & only lp, "Stories we can tell", is arguably a little masterpiece as well as its best marriage of italian post punk and the Byrds/Parsons influences. It has incredibily never been re-edited in 25 years! I think that rarely had roots music felt so interesting in Italy, or had punk music felt so melodic or fleshed out in our scene. History says that the band did not survive to their debut album which incredibily failed to generate any interest in public. Out of time split up soon after the following years, after supporting the Dream Syndicate & Hoodoo Gurus in their first unforgattable italian tours. I still remember their great performance jamming with Steve Wynn at Collegno's Certosa in 1985 (or it was 86?), but it was more or less a century ago! No one seems to remember them nowaydays altough they re-created a quite derivative kind of sound that anticipated part of the '90s italian alt-rock scene... Don't forget them!!!