Record Review: Steven Jones + Logan Sky – Lovers + Losers DL

Etrangers Musique | UK | DL | 2021

Steven Jones + Logan Sky: Lovers + Losers | GER | DL [2021]

  1. Lovers + Losers (Edit) 04:24
  2. Lovers + Losers (Extended Remix) 06:34
  3. Lovers + Losers (Vandal Moon Remix) 03:47
  4. Lovers + Losers (May Be Horizon Remix) 04:29
  5. Politics + Gesture 04:34

This single was scheduled for a February 5th release but the every-ready synth duo of Steven Jones and Logan Sky obviously just can’t wait that long, and it made a surprise appearance yesterday in their Bandcamp store. It was only in November that the lead off single from their upcoming album “European Lover,” but now their next single from that upcoming opus is reaching the world three months later. Gloryoski! They make me feel like it’s 1982 all over again not just in their musical style but also the throwback to the days when your favorite band was capable of issuing a single every few months and an album once a year to keep us hooked/sated.

The new single is working the same stylistic action on the cover art last time, but the music is even more gorgeous this time out. The EP leads off with the album single edit, and it’s a very strong contender indeed. It’s possibly their most darkly beautiful song ever. With synths that were sequenced like raindrops throughout the melancholy intro as the sustained string patches maintained the sense of taut melodrama. Steven Jones’ excellent lyrics examined the relationship of the damned under the lens this time.

The vibe was heavy on melody with rhythm being relatively diminished in the mix. The middle eight featured more melody in the sax of Gary Barnacle taking a lyrical solo for a few bars. The other guest musician here was the ever elegant eBow of Jan Linton; by now a veteran guest star with these two, but Linton also played the zhongruan; a Chinese plucked string instrument.

The Extended Remix of the track by Jones + Sky themselves, opted for greater more rhythmic emphasis on echoey drum programming, with Barnacle’s sax being used as bait up front. The long buildup in the first third of the song before Jones began singing was a hand well played. This was a delectable “old school” extended remix that reeked of razor sharp taste.

I loved the funkier pitch bending that Mr. Sky added to his playing up front and Linton’s eBow sounded like it was being run through a distortion pedal for some acidic spin. The completely new rhythm programming here was casting the song in a completely different light. It was not as simply gorgeous as the single edit, but this was the one you’d need to hear in a club.

The two remixes by other hands were also quality goods. The Vandal Moon remix was injected with their Darkwave DNA to give the melancholy track some gothic, cinematic spin that afforded the song even more elegance . They also made room for the sax of Mr.. Barnacle in the relatively fierce coda.

May Be Horizon are a new concern to me. In fact, I can’t find anything on them on the web. Their take was more stripped down and rhythmic without radically altering the vibe of the song. The rhythm programming here was quite tasty indeed. It was exciting to hear all of the four versions here leave room for the music guest stars. Maybe the days of really bad remixes are finally in the rear view mirror. What I’m exposed to these days is generally pretty great stuff.

Finally, as with their last single, we have the all important non-LP “B-side.” And this one was not to be missed. “Politics + Gesture” was a sardonic examination of the brutal theater of politics. Mr. Jones’ lyrics cuts straight to the bone and marked it as a supremely apt response to the current political climate. The support of Logan Sky here gave a subdued canvas for the lyrics to [rightfully] take center stage. Not a banger by any means, but one for the simmering angst of 2021.

Having these two release their frequent singles and albums has finally made an old fossil like me get up to speed with ephemeral music, but at least their albums will be sleek hard copies as well. But albums are only half of the equation. Their dedication to classic single culture with a 7″/12″ mix plus a couple of remixes and a B-side are exactly how I have loved experiencing music for over 40 years. And the fact that they are doing it year, after year without getting any egg on their faces, [they’ve yet to have a “U-VOX moment”] shows me that the hard fought lessons of the 80s were not in vain as this new generation has learned from our mistakes. This one will set you back a minimum of £2 [$2.66 American – but feel free to top up your price in the Bandcamp universe] and is money very well spent! Hit that button below. If you’ve read this far, you know you want to.

post-punk monk buy button

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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5 Responses to Record Review: Steven Jones + Logan Sky – Lovers + Losers DL

  1. Echorich says:

    Lovers + Losers is imbued with shimmering darkness and Ballardian desperation that pulls you into it’s detached world. Understanding the relationship between the music and the space it inhabits is something many artists seem to ignore or fail to achieve. Sky + Jones show such a deft production hand with this relationship. Lovers + Losers is crisp and direct, shedded of over production and allowing each musical element the chance to contribute to the overall impact of the song. Gary Barnacle’s “humanizing” sax solo is the one point where emotions break through, if just for a moment. Setting it just before the songs final coda is genius.
    B-side Politics + Gesture’s pertinent commentary is something few have been able to pull off over the last 5 years of political incredulity and weakness.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Extremely well stated, sir. Perhaps Logan’s penchant for synthwave/soundtrack style music has made him especially attuned to the emotional content of the song. I can’t recall him indulging in any showboating; only supporting the thematic truth of the songs he’s written with Steven Jones. Let’s just say that The Ghost Of Keith Emerson would not approve!

      Like

  2. Very Erasure-esque to these ears!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Steve Jones + Logan Sky Take “European Lovers” To A New Level of Ecstacy | Post-Punk Monk

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