Voigt/465: Slights Still Unspoken (Selected Recordings 1978-1979) (Mental Experience, 2017)

August 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Voigt/465: Slights Still Unspoken (Selected Recordings 1978-1979)

Voigt/465 were a short-lived Australian post-punk group who only recorded one album, one single, and a smattering of additional songs. This CD gathers all of the released tracks plus some unreleased ones (and the digital download adds a few more, including a Faust cover). It opens with “State”, the A-side of their single, which was a pretty solid, driving post-punk tune which got some attention from John Peel. After that, nothing about this band is remotely conventional or predictable. Rae Byrom sounds like Siouxsie but weirder, and does all sorts of strange vocal acrobatics. Songs like “Voices A Drama” start out as giddy, arty post-punk and get stranger and stranger, throwing in noise sections and getting caught in quasi-operatic minimalist cycles. The keyboards are cold and primitive-sounding, far away from the chipper organ sounds usually employed by rock bands up to that point. There’s also a heavy element of improvisation, especially during the discordant 7-minute epic “F1”. The liner notes discuss how nobody understood the band and they were completely out of sync with what was going on at the time, which is why they didn’t last too long, and the music is certainly difficult, but obviously it’s a bit easier to appreciate and admire several decades after the fact. Also, I can’t help but notice that the keyboard part during the middle of “And the Following Page”, a previously unreleased track recorded in 1978, bears a resemblance to the bridge of Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love”, which was recorded a few years after.

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  1. thanks for the review. soft cell’s painted love, eh? will have to check that out

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