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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

Dear friends (yeah really, one of those) I have become a women's wear designer for VIDA! http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/ ...

Monday, 15 February 2016

SubVersion Stop 262: Foci's Left - What I Think - review by Andy Poplin

For a FTAL direct self-promotion, I thought I'd offer some clandestine words on what makes up 'What I think - Right Bus Of The Psyche' LP by FL.

The album begins with a surf pop woozy wash in a remix of 'Or Jaw Slints', fed into a slush puppy mixing can that drums at the edges like it's attention deficit to the max. Not able to stay still, the piece eventually wears itself out, Foci's Left having recorded this on a 1970s Clavinova then reversed the track with post-processing. What happens next isn't untypical of most post-rock idioms, in that the next work in progress, 'Lament To A Broken Generation' is a slow burn of a shoegaze match, eddying vibes of ambi-dub pioneers Bvdub and Carbon Based Lifeforms, dedicated to Ryan Griffin's tireless work at A Strangely Isolated Place. It's a little long - over 16 minutes for the full insert - which means the record needs some tempo breathed into its veins, and there's where FL goes next, with 'Assata' bringing the Covert Operations sound that inspired it into full view, with ASC-sounding synths and replicated roboticness in the drum programming. FL went back in on the arrangement for this and brought it up to date from the year it was produced, back in 2005 to be precise. It was unreleased on his desktop PCs HD until now and remastered from tape. 

The track that follows, 'Inorganic Beings Cull' is one of the best Foci's Left tracks in hir catalogue, with a Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd style rhythm section augmented by plinky plonky piano strikes and schizophrenic playing that reflects hir mental health condition. It's the ultimate in blues part of the LP, rising and falling like a shark caught between barbed wire (see the 'Gymnopedie No.1' lift from Erik Satie) and paradise. 'In Debt To A Decaying Era (for Daniel Crossley) is shortened on this album and the full work (all 21 minutes of the original - the 2h 31 minute microtone version is at hir Bandcamp in 'Dumping The Rock EP') bookends one of the pinnacle Foci's Left records this reviewer has had the pleasure of being a part of, in a conceptualised bus trip into prosperity.