Vincent Clarke and Martyn Ware
Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle
Hey! Listen! If you’ve thrilled to the pulsing electro body-pop of ’80s-and-way-beyond innovators Vincent “Vince” Clarke (Depeche Mode, Erasure, “fucking” Family Fantastic) and Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, some other stuff) and wondered what sort of torch-song-motorik masterpieces these two would create as a united frontÃ– well, you’d better avoid this record. Yeah, bucko, this isn’t pop, dirty (snicker) or otherwise, this is high-concept “arte” — only performed once! In an installation space in London! Were you there? Neither was I. Lasted two hours, had a lot to do with colors (or colours), and, get this, they achieved an “almost infinite variation of hue during the event.” Zounds! I bet Iggy and the Stooges never pulled that one off. Pieced together at some places with fancy sounding names on fancy sounding equipment that you can probably read all about in Wire magazine, there are NO messy bodily fluids present on this record. But I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; although the record does veer off into amazing heights of precious-ness worthy of that Ric(k) Wakeman’s staging of Camelot on ice, it’s a quirky and enjoyable piece of minimalist doodling. Even stern instructions to listen to the record “with headphonesÃ– at the point of near-sleep at the end or beginning of the day” can’t stop me from smiling at the childlike innocence of this record. Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle is a record that seeks a naÃ”ve sort of purity from sound and packaging both — the reliance on simple colors, the instructions invocating a very basic yet fanciful locale for each track, each track clocking in at or near twelve minutes, the lack of conscious pretense — this is a kindergarten naptime record for sure. The kids would dig it almost as much as they dig eating paste. And you know they love the paste. Waves of evocative sound, and the listener finishes the record as he/she started — in heaven, surrounded by harps and synthesized angel choruses. Awesome, I get to go to heaven.
Mute Records, 429 Harrow Road, London, UK W10 4RE; http://www.mute.com