Edvard Graham Lewis - All Over LP
Label: Editions Mego
One of two concurrently released albums from Wire's eccentric bassist / vocalist Edvard Graham Lewis. Even through the lens of Wire's situationist post-punk and avant-pop eccentricities, the solo and side projects for Lewis were almost always well beyond the scope of Wire's amorphous signature. Dome was an early investigation into proto-electronica and disjointed industrial bricolage, and then there was the contorted romanticism of '80s balladeering through the under-appreciated He Said moniker.
Where the companion album All Under is the more abstract and (slightly more) unconventional, All Over finds Lewis returning to his capacity for penning some brilliantly weird avant-pop numbers. The overall feel of the album is sunk in a liquid narcosis that runs parallel to the blurring miasma of shoegazing; but Lewis doesn't drown his work in reverb. It's a great trick to build something hypnotizing though a skeletal synth & guitar pop context. "We've Lost Your Mind" girds a motorik click track of Oval-like glitching with a minor-chord jangle that harkens back to A Bell Is A Cup Until It Is Struck era Wire if it were recorded today. "The Start Of Next Week" is a fabulous piece of dark techno that could fit somewhere near Silent Servant or Surgeon. The dubbed-out tropical ditty "Quick Skin" pools Lewis' vocals into layers of overlapping delay patterns with a tinny rhumba and chicken-scratch guitars channelling the spirit of Brian Eno's Another Green World, albeit with a darker color palette. Other tracks do push the abstraction with a few tracks sounding similar to what :zoviet*france: would make if given the challenge to make a 'pop' record circa 1988. Like All Under, this is brilliant.