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|TUXEDOMOON: Don't you forget us #4|
Fourth instalment in my forgotten/dismissed/underappreciated Post-Punk bands list series: Welcome to the least Post-Punk band in the series. Tuxedomoon have gained some traction for their absolutely off-the-wall and often harrowing sound. They tend to be classified as Post-Punk largely because nobody really knows, where else to put them. It's a strange band, but no less deserving your attention. So get ready for essentially predecessors of Post-Rock, Tuxedomoon:
Joeboy in Mexico
In its essence this is just like its musical predecessor from Rotterdam (appears later on the list), but atmospherically it is in a whole other place. It's much less sophisticated, its nature is distorted and its pace is quite spooky. Easily band's most difficult to swallow effort that at least attempts at presenting itself from a whole new side of experimental music, be it all creeping and senseless.
Go-to tracks: El Popo, Pista 12
Pinheads On The Move
"Unfit to be official"
This is the kind of album those hipsters from Amoeba's 'What's in my bag?' videos describe as "essential to have in your professional collection". It's a collection of b-sides, unreleased material, singles and live recordings you might call 'standard' in comparison with the band's official outputs.
Go-to tracks: The Stranger, In Heaven, I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Ship Of Fools
This feels wrong. Tuxedomoon made New Wave/Piano Pop album. That's just not right. Sure, their usual Jazzy influences are still there and the menacingly loud production makes it a little more upfront and weird than your usual albums of the sort, but you can't hide the fact that the band's attempts at reinventing themselves in this direction are a little... bizarre. On one hand, they are still very much in on their usual unconventional instrumentation, but this time they use more synths and electronic elements. And my hostility is not just a baby duck syndrome speaking from me, I would very much like to experience a good Tuxedomoon New Wave experimentation, but at this point it feels unfocused and all over the place with its constant transitions from Poppy songs into pure piano solos.
Go-to tracks: Atlantis, Break the Rules, The Train
"Distorted, yet exuberant"
The band's humble beginnings and their first steps towards the experimental. It does seem that the sound is odd on here more due to the amateur production than the intention. That certainly adds some charm to the release, but also takes from its overall enjoyment, unfortunately.
Go-to tracks: Litebulb Overkill, No Tears
Joeboy in Rotterdam
This is Tuxedomoon at their most directionless. The album was created under the band's alter-ego moniker Joeboy, but everybody still refers to it as a Tuxedomoon album. It's monotone, monochrome and musically abstract. It's a journey through cinematic, yet sombre landscapes that are impossible to describe. It embraces the genre Experimental to its fullest and delivers a near hour of calm and steady nowhere-going pseudo-music.
Go-to tracks: it doesn't have songs per se, so I'll just say that the moment that sounded like Space Art was kind of nice.
Scream With a View
From this point onward in the band's career, it's obvious that nothing will be obvious. If you are not sure, whether or not to delve into the band's off-beat, often absurd music, start with this EP. It pretty much contains everything you need to know. It's a monochrome, dysrhythmic and hallucinogenic 4-tracker that sounds like its most appropriate use is an art student's reimagination of a cryostasis.
Go-to tracks: Where Interests Lie
"The space inbetween"
This is a strange transition phase in band's discography. They haven't embraced the Post-Punk sound fully and they also aren't willing to give up their Jazzy oddity they usually pull off. So this record just sort of hangs in the middle, neither one, nor the other. And usually if the band can't decide on the way to go, they make the album half one thing, half the other. But on here, it's all thrown into one pile. And in the end the album's highlights are the tracks that are only one or the other (such as In a Manner of Speaking, which might very well be one of their best ever tracks).
Go-to tracks: The Waltz, In a Manner of Speaking, Watching The Blood Flow
For a long time band's most celebrated and illustrious record now seems to be a little jaded. The macabre atmosphere is still as impressive as ever, but the overall execution is not up to par. The album also can't seem to decide the way it should take. Generally you can divide the band's work into 'dystopian futurism' inspired and downright 'thriller settings'. This is more or less the latter, but one that seems to be indicisive, whether it should impliment the former's ideas. For that reason we have moments, in which a perfectly mindbending music as if taken from Victorian era horror, gets a robotic voiceover treatment; or there will be an obtuse mid-album interlude of noises from their more dizzying records. Such moments aren't frequent, but their presence is not justified either.
Go-to tracks: Grand Hotel, Entracte II, Ninotchka, Queen Christina, Camille
The Ghost Sonata
"Simplicity of complexity"
Their most nocturnal album is also their least Post-Punk or anything Punk/Rock/Pop oriented. In its essence, this is a straightforward Neoclassical record. There really isn't a bigger mystery to it, other than that it's an instrumental album. Of course, the moment that are not that stick out like a thorn in the eye (like A Mystic Death), but outside of that it's, well... just like I said. It's a Neoclassical album. There really isn't anything more to it.
Go-to tracks: The Ghost Sonata, Music Number Two, The Cascade, Basso Pomade (Dogs Lickin' My Heart), Licorice Stick Ostinato, Music Number Two (Reprise)
As far as this off-kilter music goes, you can't find any album as distant from the band's first couple as this. While their beginnings have been mainly focused on some sort of futuristic melancholia, this is more like a ode to relaxing music and much, much more traditional Post-Punk, which is something the band has never done before. Interesting change of pace, especially for a band so late into their career. Of course it's Tuxedomoon we're talking about, so "more traditional Post-Punk" means approximately three tracks at best. The rest is as usual, but much more freely flowing. It's like music from a gradually freezing desert.
Go-to tracks: Still Small Voice, Dizzy, Epso Meth Lama
And once more does the band pull off an album with immense background and dissonant forefront. On its surface, you can't quite figure out what to think of this album, because it doesn't try to be memorable, accessible or even inviting. Everything, from the album's odd skits, ballad-like lyricism and virtually absent songwriting just makes it quite hard to digest. However, it also manages to enthrall with its general lack of structure or anything remotely straightforward.
Go-to tracks: Roman P., The Train, Stockholm, You
Suite En Sous-Sol/Time to Lose/Short Stories
On this collection of EPs you'll get the band's biggest musical influence-span. In order to create new music, they reached from some deep southern Arabic ethnic music, noisy predecessor of what sounds like Drone, Neoclassical to even some Post-Rock. It's a record deeply before its time. It also suffers from a certain disorganised pace, which is partially the reason it never even managed to reach some kind of cult status. The least Post-Punk release from the least Post-Punk band in the series.
Go-to tracks: Prelude, Courante Marocaine, L'Étranger, Time to Lose, Music #2
"Space age psycho-thriller"
All you lovers of utter obscurity and menacing otherworly experimentation, listen up. Tuxedomoon went full nuts with the instrumental oddities on here. It's a vibrant, but unforgiving record, whose only real link to Post-Punk is its creeping bass. Expect the unexpected, distorted futuristic sounds, near-horrifying backing instruments and threatening mechanical compositions and background instrumentals are a thing of common on here.
Go-to tracks: Fifth Column, Tritone (Musica Diablo), What Use?, 7 Years, KM - Seeding the Clouds
As time went by, the band started adding more vocals into their music and also more traditional genre influences. Those vocals weren't a thing of dreams before and isn't now, so their addition could have caused the entire project to ultimately fail. However, Desire's irregular isntrumentation and a slightly more traditional New Wave musical approach created a slightly more acceptable atmosphere for the vocals to be realised. They sound like they are in their place on here. It's nowhere less bewlidering as their other outputs, but it does approach its sound a little more conservatively than the rest of their discography.
Go-to tracks: Incubus (Blue Suit), Desire, Again, In The Name Of Talent (Italian Western Two)
Cabin In The Sky
In previous lists first spots have coincidentally always been held by albums most praised or most popular. But this is the first time, where the first spot is held by an album so recently released and so often dismissed. But there is a reason for its placement. This record is a treachery against all that the band stood for before. In that, it is not purposefully disorganised or obscurely constructed. It seems to be more straightforward than anything the band has ever released, its melodies are clear and its instruments have quite adequate pace and don't create any discomforting atmosphere. It's miles more relaxing and pleasant on the ears than the band's usual output. From its staggering atmospheric component, the immense instrumental pallette, to the linear songwriting finesse, it is their most balanced and landscapic record to date.
A Home Away, Baron Brown, Diario Di Un Egoista, Cagli Five-O, La Piu Bella Reprise, Misty Blue, Annuncialto Redux
|"First day at school I lost my frontier."|
Next time will be an actual Post-Punk band, I promise
|i jammed desire and it was pretty good tbh|
|pretty sure most people know tuxedomoon lol|
|Well, the dismal amount of ratings on Sputnik indicated the opposite, Sint.|
|they're good i haven't rated any of their stuff either tho |
|Tux aren't too well known on this site, dunno what you're talking about|
Great band. Great list
|I thought this was a Sailor Moon reference |
|How did I miss this! Good stuff Unique|
In a Manner of Speaking
A Home Away
Time to Lose
Tritone (Musica Diablo)
Epso Meth Lama