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 RECOIL Unsound Methods (Mute)

Listening to Recoil’s new album, the project led by Alan Wilder, there’s a sense of what Depeche Mode has lost: a specialist in dense atmosphere and grandiloquent but controlled power. He is finally concentrating on his own project and the result is nothing like previous Recoil material. In fact, ‘Unsound Methods’ is built upon music which, albeit mostly non-instrumental (only ‘Shunt’ is instrumental) would make excellent potential soundtracks to dark and imaginary films. In fact, following the example of ‘Incubus’ which is influenced by ‘Apocalypse Now’, the starting point of many of the tracks were images born or etched onto Wilder’s mind.
He has given free rein to 4 vocalists to write the lyrics, giving them only an emotion as a jumping-off point. Douglas McCarthy (ex-Nitzer Ebb) is on top form and female vocalists Siobhan Lynch, Maggie Estep and Hildia Cambell take part in the adventure, using their own personalities to perfectly complete Wilder’s sonic weavings. By far the best Recoil - we could sense the potential - now we have the full impact.

Magic!
, November '97 (Belgium)

Translation: Nikki Racklin


RECOIL Unsound Methods (Mute)

After The Golden Palominos stunning album last year, here comes Recoil’s second album in the same vein. Cinematic music, composed like the soundtrack to a latent film The first track, ‘Incubus’, begins with a dialogue from ‘Apocalypse Now’, the film by Coppola and goes on a journey through film noir, where Douglas McCarthy’s voice (former Nitzer Ebb) whispers with the conviction of Hannibal Lecter: ‘My name is Death and I am alive.’

To make ‘Unsound Methods’ less linear, Recoil surrounded itself with female voices who marry visual melodies on tracks like ‘Drifting’ or the gospel ‘Red River Cargo’, sung by Hildia Cambell. Siobhan Lynch’s voice evokes that of Curve’s Toni Halliday, while Maggie Estep comes amazingly close to Nicole Blackman of The Golden Palominos in her way of telling a story with voluptuous delectation, as in ‘Luscious Apparatus’. The music, composed solely using samples and electronica (without resorting to Drum & Bass and other ‘big beats’) tell a story that brings to mind David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’, with the listener swimming in the same disarray and suspense. We’re kept spellbound during the hour-long ‘Unsound Methods’, behind which hides Alan Wilder, one of the former keyboard players from Depeche Mode.

Octopus, December '97 (France)

Translation: Nikki Racklin
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