PETER GORDON DAVID CUNNINGHAM The Yellow Box (Piano)
What we have here is the first CD release of a collaboration between long-time Michael Nyman sidekick and former member of The Flying Lizards David Cunningham and leader of the Love of Life Orchestra (no, me neither) Peter Gordon. The blurb reckons its "an intense and engaging marriage of No-Wave, New Wave, Free Jazz and Ambient musics...an ingenious melting pot of found sounds and voices, loop systems and treated improvisations"...and if you can read all that without the word "Eno" forming on your lips then youre a better man than I.
But in truth "The Yellow Box" is a far more jagged and compelling work than anything Brian Peter George St. John Le Baptistse De La Salle was fashioning at the time (the early 80s, in case you hadnt guessed). Theres jagged saxophones right out of Michael Nymans early works, drum and bass support from avant gardeners Anton Fier (The Golden Palominos) and John Greaves (Henry Cow, Slapp Happy), the odd container-load of Beefheartian dissonance and every now and then a tune so beautiful (e.g. "Provenance") that it could even be Enos "Another Green World" with the notes in a different order.
Ignoring the namedropping luvvie drivel than constitutes the sleevenotes, the essence of "The Yellow Box" is best summed up in the line "a pre-sampling masterpiece for a post-sampling world", which places it at a diametric opposite to something like Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Darks criminally underappreciated "Dazzleships" epic, which was more of a post-sampling experiment performed on a staunchly pre-sampling world; weird, but occasionally quite wonderful.