Sunday, August 07, 2005

cult of the week - Radio Free Europe

artist: Radio Free Europe

title: Laughoncue

year: 1980

label: Armageddon Records

personnel: Brian Hansen, Dave Maya, Stephen Miller, Dan Puckett (ambience, bass, effects, flute, guitar, keyboard, piano, rhythm program, synthesizer, sequencer, tapes, tamplifier, voice)

tracklisting: shock corridor, it likes you, suggested re-entry, occupation of france, fulda gap, adada, falling million years, whore of babylon, a couple screams, time between seconds, heart of the matter

cotw say…

european moniker to the contrary, Radio Free Europe was actually based out of Austin, Texas. not that it mattered. this quartet’s only album is a timeless, and highly original gem that somehow sank without a trace when it was originally released.

to credit ‘ambience’ as a musical part on ‘Laughoncue’ is hardly pretentious. in truth, ambience is nothing short of being the lead instrument. rather than presenting songs, Radio Free Europe guides the listener on a dark, seductive journey that takes in distorted atmospheres that range from the industrial meanderings of ‘Fulda Gap’ and ‘Heart of the Matter’, to the near-pop of ‘It Likes You’ (one of only two vocal tracks). hauntingly expansive and virtually beat-free throughout, the album sounds something a jam between Dome and LA’s Monitor, courtesy of a b-movie organ that glides in and out of the mix and a ‘punkier’, guitar-friendly feel.

a true lost classic that will immediately appeal to any fan of early ambient-industrial music.

erik -

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