Synth-pop pioneer and consummate explorer of the relationship between the mind and the city, John Foxx has long been a hero of FACT’s. His career began back in the 70s with Ultravox, but Foxx is still producing incredibly vital and innovative work. His new album, D.N.A., is out on October 11.
The album will be available via Foxx’s own label, Metamatic Records. Taking its title from a futuristic corporation mentioned in a short story on Foxx’s website, D.N.A. includes a DVD featuring unique collaborations between Foxx and his favourite independent film-makers. among them Macoto Tezka and Ian Emes. Check out the latter’s ‘Flightpath Tegel’:
The CD carries all the music for the films, plus tracks that Foxx has recorded as “possibilities” for soundtracks. Guest contributors include Steve D’Agostino, ex-Japan percussionist Steve Jansen and ambient maestro Harold Budd, with whom Foxx has previously collaborated on the sublime double-album Drift Music / Translucence. The artwork is by Jonathan Barnbook, who has worked with Damien Hirst and David Bowie among others.
2010 is proving to be a busy year for Foxx. It’s the 30th anniversary of the release of Metamatic, his hugely influential, Ballard-inspired masterpiece, and he recently performed an acclaimed live show at London’s Roundhouse, presenting material old and new; those of you who missed that show can catch him playing the Troxy on December 3. As inspired and energetic as ever, Foxx is currently putting the finishing touches to an analogue synthesizer recorded with Benge under the name John Foxx & The Maths.
We’ve got two particularly tranquil tracks from the album to stream. ‘City of Mirage’ is an immersive, time-stopping ambient piece that recalls Foxx’s classic Cathedral Oceans, while ‘Violet Bloom’, a collaboration with Steve D’Agostino, swaps layered synthesizers for more pointed and organic acoustic sounds, the results summoning early Manitoba or Four Tet. Though he’s best known for the shark-eyed electro-pop of Metamatic, some of Foxx’s best work – not just the aforementioned Cathedral Oceans and Drift Music / Translucence – is in the ambient mode. Far from mere mood music, Foxx’s ambient work has an almost religious intensity to it, and seems to have the power to reach deep into the listener’s memory and dislodge from it scenes and sensations long thought lost or forgotten.
John Foxx – ‘Violet Bloom’
John Foxx – ‘City Of Mirage’