John Foxx: Concrete + Organized Noise UK LP 
- A Frozen Moment
- He’s A Liquid (Instrumental Dub)
- Mr. No (Alternative Version)
- The Uranium Committee
- A Man Alone
- Over Tokyo
- Terminal Zone
- Burning Car (Early Version)
- A Version Of You
- Glimmer (Alternative Version)
- Fragmentary City
- Critical Mass
- Alamogordo Logic
- Miss Machinery
As if on cue… So last post we were burrowing into one of the rare John Foxx outside productions; the numbers of which can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And this morning when breakfasting with my wife, I invoked the all too descriptive lyric that was “there’s no one driving” when my wife suddenly grabbed the iPad and went to see what was up with Herr Foxx. After all, isn’t that new Maths album in the pipeline? It seems like I’ve been waiting for it forever this time as opposed to the astonishing “bang! bang! bang!” of the first three albums of that collective. The usual places didn’t have anything new, so she looked elsewhere. The dark place. When what to her wond’ring eyes should appear but a new Foxx LP coming our way in the new year.
This one is a compilation of “Metamatic” odds and ends to commemorate the 40th anniversary of that seminal release in just a few weeks. Everything here is from the vault material. I’m at least happy to see this pressed up as a 40+ minute LP on a single disc, not one of those 2-3x disc 45 RPM monstrosities they sell these days and call an album [for $60+].
Old timers may remember that “Metamatic” was one of the very first British albums of the 80s; in more ways than one. All of this material was also on the recent, comprehensive “Metamatic” DLX RM box but this time it’s been crafted into an LP, on grey wax, of course, so you can forget trying to cue up any single track on the turntable. I’ve had grey vinyl for years and grey, white, and especially clear vinyl is exceedingly difficult to cue.
The sick fact is that this is redundant to the amazing 3xCD I already have of this music, but put it in a Barnbrook cover and I sort of need to have this bad boy. Especially since there’s only 500 pressed and at £19.99 [$26.26] they will surely sell out in a short time like all of the other Foxx LPs of recent vintage. I’ve managed to keep up with most of Foxx’s releases, but there’s still that 2014 white vinyl “Metamatic” in a gatefold sleeve from 2014 Record Store Day UK that is still out there; not cheap, but certainly affordable, and I need to act on that one day when I have some [Ha! Ha! Ha!] spare cash. Meanwhile, this LP will be released on January 24th, 2020, which may be the exact 40th anniversary of “Metamatic’s” release if there’s any justice in the world. Preorder from the Foxx webstore below.
– 30 –
and the dark place is……?
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I thought you were going to say Amazon.
Before I went online for the first time my impression of the internet was “hmmm, they found a way to get people to pay to watch ads.”
Wasn’t that far off.
I’d like to think that the thing is still at the developmental stage of olde telephones with party lines and all that but time will tell.
Tim – Well, Amazon is pretty dark, too.
Thanks so much for the heads up about this, Monk! This is exactly why I am an avid reader of your awesome blog. Just ordered it!
Tom – Glad to be of some help in the Foxx sales regard! I’ll have to wait. Not sure how long.
I will regretfully give this a pass, for several reasons: the above-mentioned impossible-to-cue gray vinyl, that I don’t collect much vinyl anymore (having no place to store it or play it, though I do make rare exceptions to that rule), and because I have the CD version of the material. That cover photo is, however, stunning.
I agree with chasinvictoria. A lovely looking cover photo but as I prefer CD over vinyl and have the tracks already I won’t bother. Just wondering when the new John Foxx and the Maths album featuring Robin Simon will see the light of day.
Andy B – Well, since I will be in the UK for the Human Seventeen show in March, and we WILL attend any Maths Concert [especially with Simon participating] happening going forward, I can only hope that the new Maths album comes out in the late fall with concerts happening in the new year at the earliest to give my poor wallet time to save for such a trip!
Been rather disappointed with the contents of Disc 3. Those unreleased “treasures” are either early ambient pieces or “one finger on a key” abstract creations, most of them under 3 minutes in length. In fact the longest one, “Approaching the monument”, is FOUR minutes of barely audible hollow synth drone, which is especially ridiculous! It all sounds like either sketches for possible future songs, not very interesting atmospheric music for some arthouse movie, or simply a bunch of sounds, all plonked on the disc to fill time. I’m surprised they didn’t use a collage of ARP samples from master tapes that John did for a compilation called “Unique Sounds: Sonic Elements From the Stars”, or a bunch of stuff from the “Quiet man” CD. What’s more, most of the alternative versions don’t really instill any new meaning or cast a new perspective on the already-knows compositions. Looks like the barrel has been scraped thoroughly and conclusively. I feel somewhat guilty writing all this, as I’m a huge “Metamatic”-era fan, but I expected more in a way of songs like “Young love” or at least great instrumentals like “Film one” or “Mr No”. Alas, no such thing, the only success here is “Fragmentary city”.
On the other hand, from B-sides and recently-revealed songs I was able to compile my own accompanying album to – or second volume of – “Metamatic”. It goes like this:
To be with you
All in their released versions, not demos, with early version of “Like a miracle” as a possible bonus. I played around with the order quite a bit, but this is the flow I’m most pleased with. This kind of LP I’d buy in a heartbeat, regardless of colour. The new LP, though, is a definite pass.
I just received my vinyl copy of Concrete + Organized Noise yesterday. Haven’t opened it yet, but am excited to listen to it tomorrow when I have time.
Thanks, Monk, for the alert about the album last December!
Tom – I already opened mine since I hate to leave LPs in shrink wrap and vulnerable to warpage stresses, even if I will never play them. I just peered at its impenetrable grayness.
Yep, opened mine last night! Great packaging as expected – and, of course, the impenetrable grayness of the vinyl was there in all its glory.
By the way, completely unrelated, but your Moroder/Blondie “Call Me” post was ace. So well written. One of your best posts in my opinion.
drskridlow – Thanks for the compliment. I crank this stuff out so fast that it’s hard for me to critique it until months later, sometimes. As for Jonathan Barnbrook’s Foxx LP design, he managed to make the disc as brutalist as the music.
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