Steven Jones + Logan Sky Move The Goal Further Out On ‘Rotating Angels’ [part 1]

Jones + Sky in blue

L-R: Logan Sky + Steven Jones ©2019 Marlie Centawer

Has it really been ten months since the last album by restless analog duo Steven Jones + Logan Sky? It seems like we just had time to take in their last album when their VIP subscription service has now dropped three album projects, including this one, in just seven months. My head is spinning at such productivity. By now they have got this band humming along like a finely tuned machine with Jones’ delivery smoldering between his baritone singing and moodier voice over style. While Sky had his analog synth fetish to hold it all together stylishly. All the more reason for the duo to add some new and surprising flavors to their dark cocktail of tech noir synth rock.

Etrangers Musique | UK | CD-R | 2019

Steven Jones + Logan Sky: Rotating Angels UK CD-R [2019]

  1. Rotating Angels
  2. I Bind You
  3. Japanese Girl
  4. Dream: Scream
  5. Dark Projections
  6. Spider’s Kiss
  7. Toy
  8. Loveholic [dubholic]
  9. I Bind You [transmuted]
  10. Japanese Girl [Amboss rermix]
  11. Dark projections [MauSS Costume remix]
  12. Rotating Angels [Comsicomsa remix]

In a welcome addition to their sound, this album finds guitarist Jan Linton adding his vivid EBow guitar to the sounds and this could not please me more. We recently discovered the intriguing Mr. Linton and he’s definitely swimming in waters of my liking. When synth bands get settled, then it’s time to add guitars to the mix. Usually a bass might be the cautious first step a band take, but Jones + Sky didn’t draw the line at “interesting” and went straight for “incredible” by using Linton’s EBow guitar instead.

The cover lets us in on the theme straight away. These were dark, brooding songs of emotional dominance. Inasmuch as last year Mr. Jones declared that Liselotte was not an object, things were different this year. The title track was built on somber piano chords and spartan, slow-tempo Japan-inflected beats [think “Sons Of Pioneers”] that set the stage for him to declare that his love was “visual” and that his “gift” was “mine to unwrap.” A dusky paean to a scopophiliac’s obsession. Linton’s EBow added feline mystery at the song’s halfway point to show that this band had left synthpop behind them for something altogether more sophisticated.

Nimble 808 programming propelled the karmically driven “I Bind You” with its refrain of “all the harm you do, comes back to you.” Linton’s fiery solo in the song’s climax was an immediate payoff for the conceit of getting him into this project. Then it was time for the dark heart of the album. “Japanese Girl” was formed from EBow drones and tribal beats cut with crystalline synth notes as the arrangement drifted like smoke across the soundfield.

The album was revealing a new elegance and intricacy to the band’s vibe. Sure, sure. There were a few night prowlers [they’re always fun] that we’ll get to later, but right now I’m just too blown away by a track like “Dream:Scream.” The delicate piano and flute like synths of Mr. Sky were emotional and subtle. A dreamlike foundation for the pensive vibe here. The rhythms here were particularly adroit, and the whipcrack synth patch percussion on the off beats were the sort of rhythmic fillips that I find absolutely scintillating. Meanwhile the blend of Linton’s EBow and the vocal melodies of Mr. Jones formed a kind of doleful beauty that was entrancing in ways new to the band’s toolkit.

Next: …Remix/Remodel

 

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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