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  A Dialogue  
  Geoff Soule  
  The Supermegacorporation  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

A Dialogue Between Feminine Wisdom And Masculine Uncertainty (to give the album its full name) is the second album from Geoff Soule, a member of San Francisco band Fuck and one half of Staff, whose 2005 album If It Ain't Staff It Ain't Worth A Fuck album had its moments in a Blur/Wire kind of way. This is a different thing entirely, however, consisting as it does of thirty minutes of lo-fi recordings with a real gentleness about them.

The album actually opens in something of a misleading manner, as the intro, the instrumental Improv No.9, has a somewhat jazzy feel with the double bass playing against what sounds like an electric piano before the album begins properly with the delightfully, if misleadingly titled, A Dirge. It's actually an acoustic number with a real warmth about it, and not just because Soule keeps singing about the sun. It really is rather beautiful with a Spirit Of Eden era Talk Talk-like instrumental section thrown in for good measure.

Jolly Times is another with a somewhat misleading title as it's a downbeat number with something of an abstract melody, whilst Squadra Che Vince Mon Si Cambia is an instrumental that sees its drone rise subtly over a staccato electro beat. It's as simple as fish and chips, yet it's somehow strangely moving. Axixic is a finger picked number with almost Lennon-like vocals that leads us to the centrepiece of A Dialogue, the seven minute They Are In The Gate. It opens, as the title might suggest, with a sample of horse racing commentary over a repetitive finger picked electric. The voice-over soon fades leaving us with a relentless backdrop, and the odd bit of searing guitar, though in keeping with the feel of the album even the “searing guitar” feels under-stated! There's a great moment around the four minute mark when a simple but fat sounding guitar riff suddenly pops up over the top. They Are In The Gate probably won't be everybody's cup of tea, but it's almost certainly the highlight of the album for me.

I could probably manage without the instrumental Whedit Geseshi Woude Henate Ityopa which sounds some obscure Eastern European National Anthem played on a cheap Casio, but the gently acoustic San Diego Winter with its female backing vocals quickly gets us back on track. A Love Song is slightly reminiscent of Hood whilst the closing track Peace And Plenty Forever combines the jazzy feel of the intro with the more typical meanderings elsewhere and ends up sounding not dissimilar to Static Caravan recording artists, Charles Atlas.

As has been hinted already, there's a real under-stated feel to this album and people wanting a kick-ass "wham bam thank you ma'am" approach would probably be advised to seek their thrills elsewhere. But those of you with a touch more patience and a capability to be moved by heartfelt simplicity are likely to be amply rewarded.

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