Friday, June 20, 2008

Worthy Of A Weekend Dig.

Here’s one you could dig up over the weekend or have a scout around for in the used sections of the music emporiums in your district. Dot Allison’s We Are Science is a ripe old six years of age, and only caused a slight stir when it was released. It should have caused a major ripple, but alas and alack, we were all caught up in electroclash and interesting haircuts. Please don’t misunderstand me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with electro or arresting coiffure, but it is unfortunate that a quality album like this went undetected into music lore. This one should have been up there with Felix’s Kittenz and Thee Glitz, and everything by Tiga, but Allison chose to channel her folk and shoe gaze tendencies through the electro filter. The outcome was quite astonishing in places though it might have been a bit too dreamy for the charley fuelled and angst tinged euphoria of the sparse machine pop acolytes of that time.

She started out as a member of Glasgow band One Dove, which was originally signed to legendary Glaswegian label Soma, an imprint which also gave Daft Punk their start. One Dove fused dub tendencies with blissful pop and a techno undercurrent, Weatherall remixed their Transient Truth single to fine effect, signed them to the Boys Own label and produced their first album, Morning Dove White. Allison went solo in ‘99 with the album Afterglow on Heavenly, home to Saint Etienne, Flowered Up and Beth Orton. We Are Science came in 2002, showed her tougher side and featured production by Mercury Rev and Two Lone Swordsmen member and Weatherall cohort, Keith Tenniswood (aka Radioactive Man).

We Are Science swings between bliss and despair, with “Strung Out,” and “We’re Only Science” pulling you into a claustrophobic world of chemical romance and its inevitable come down. “You Can Be Replaced,” with its existential and cruel lyric “I’m not phased you can be replaced” gently knocks you for six while “Make It Happen,” sounds like Le Tigre colliding with Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer.” “Substance,” is tough, fast electro, with a knocking boom bap beat and Allison’s waifish, distant vocals projecting a mood that encapsulates Morvern Callar in book or movie form. Stick “We Are Science,” into the party scene of that flick and it would work perfectly and put “You Can Be Replaced,” into the party sequence in “Garden State,” instead of Zero 7’s “The Waiting Line,” and ditto.

Her latest long player, 2007’s Exaltation Of Larks, a return to folkier vistas, was produced by Kramer of Shimmy Disc, King Missile, Bongwater and New York Gong (with Bill Laswell) fame. Seek out We Are Science and prepare to move with angst or gaze into the unknown. Rumor has it Allison will be exercising her pipes on the next Massive Attack record, so this album is essential coffee table banter material for the release date of that upcoming opus.


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1 comment:

Gold Code said...

Top pick, "We're Only Science" was stuck in my crate for a long time. Still relevant in a cosmic type set.

The Weatherall Mix of One Dove, "Transient Truth (Old Toys Dub)" is still a weapon of mass destruction.

great blog [as expected ;)]