'There's more going on in any five minutes here than in entire rackfuls of ambient, techno or drum 'n' bass albums'
Barry Adamson Oedipus Schmoedipus Mute CD STUMM 134
Friday 02 August 1996
Sexual confusion is Adamson's target here, observed with a slightly raised eyebrow and an occasional wry smile. The album opens with the lusty "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Pelvis", featuring a desperate Jarvis Cocker begging "Save me from my own hand" over a monstrous funk groove that somehow manages to combine gospel vocals, urgent strings, raging power-chords and limpid vibes into one coherent whole; it closes an hour later in Twin Peaks-y mood with Nick Cave breaking off a relationship with abrupt tenderness in "The Sweetest Embrace": "I just don't want you anymore / And that's the sweetest embrace of all".
In between are a variety of bold musical strategies, ranging from the slinky organ groove and Classics IV sample that comprise "Something Wicked this Way Comes", to the seven-minute tone-poem collage of "Dirty Barry", with its sonic scribbles and echoing trumpet lines. There's also a distinct loungeward lean to several pieces, Adamson languishing among the flutes, vibes and brushed snares of "In a Moment of Clarity", and adding a new rhythmic wrinkle to his cover of Miles Davis's "Miles". Throughout, echoes of soundtrack composers such as Barry, Herrmann and Morricone sprout from Adamson's tunes, adding dramatic whiskers to his arrangements. And while he's far too facetious and frivolous actually to elucidate any of the thorny psycho-sexual issues involved, that same sense of fun and daring ensures that there's more going on, musically, in any five minutes of Oedipus Schmoedipus than in entire rackfuls of ambient, techno or drum 'n' bass albums.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Rebecca Hall on her film career so far: ‘I’ve played too many repressed neurotics’
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner stars in Bastille's 'Oblivion' video
50 Shades of Grey movie trailer declared sexy and sexist on Twitter
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia