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Sometimes Splendid Confusion


Drifting Falling

Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

Simon Scott has the kind of background that makes a muso snob like myself sit up and take notice. His c.v. takes in Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Lowgold, and the really quite wonderful Epic45. He's even worked alongside Eno.

I'd known of Televise for a while as they have oft-shared the same stage as yellow6. For some reason, I had assumed this was a band project. Not so. I'm now reliably informed that Scott does everything here even down to the photography. That is to say he wrote, performed, recorded, and produced Sometimes Splendid Confusion, leaving only the mastering (sensibly) to someone else.

I'm pleased we're officially calling this a mini-album. EP would be too modest. Semantics aside, at six tracks and clocking in well over the half hour mark, this is certainly great value. A nice showcase too, allowing a glimpse of the many-faceted skills of Mr. Scott. This record takes in space rock, dream pop, ambient, and drone. The biggest thrill comes in the form of opening track, Tropical Mix. (Do NOT listen to the compressed mp3 on Televise's Myspace page. It doesn't do this justice. You must hear it on a decent system.) This is unbelievable. Tropical Mix turns the speakers into two wind tunnels from which a thousand fireflies are expelled, proceeding to flicker and dance around the stereo field.

Do you know the sound that you can make when you blow across the top of a bottle? (Beer drinkers with an equally low boredom threshold as myself will empathize.) Tropical mix is that sound, only processed to Hell and back and then replayed on an underwater P.A. It's Seefeel meets Broadcast and it's absolutely stunning.

Yet for all the opener's thrills, the prize for the most beautiful track is a toss up between The Longing with its majestic guitar arpeggios and the final, remix track, Never Alone. Other tracks such as Il de Televise and Fish Fish Fish are more contemplative in mood. The latter is foreboding to the point of sinister. Energy crackles and a dark and hungry God rises. In the late eighties, in the days of A.R.Kane and Talk Talk, they used to call this stuff Oceanic. It was arguably the natural precursor to post-rock. Somehow, against today's lamentable lack of originality within post-rock, Televise's variety comes as some blessed relief.

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