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I’m absolutely sure I saw The Projects live back in the midsts of time, thinking they were superb, then losing all track of their progress. This, their fourth album, is overshadowed by the death of leader Graeme Wilson from MS related complications aged 37. Its hard to be objective when reviewing a record on the back of such a tragedy, you always want to treat it kindly whatever the quality of the music..... but there are no such worries here.
The album, completed by Wilson’s bandmates, is excellent and from the records we see you buying here at Norman Towers should find a wide appeal amongst our customers. Its certainly packed with guest spots; people from the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Bo Ningen, and Ladytron are amongst others lending a hand. Opener ‘Set a Course For The Stars’ is utterly mesmerising. What would you compare this to? Well initially Can but shot through with the more pop sensibilities of those 90’s bands indebted to kraut-rock such as Stereolab, Quickspace, Prolapse and Broadcast with some tremendously bleak lyrics in tow such “we shop in suburban concrete town centres....the office, the family...the endless ring road”.
‘Elektrichka’ is equally good. Brian Jonestown Massacre have dabbled in similarly Germanic themes in their last couple of records but this nails it. ‘Cold Fusion Experiment’ is another off kilter classic, with a solid Neu backing accompanied by flute but when a chaotic chorus kicks in its utterly brilliant, the bass is either out of tune or is playing the most brilliantly intentional ‘off’ notes. I’ve no idea what to compare it to, the ‘vocals’ are kind of naive spoken word stuff - its amazing, its like David Mitchell fronting Can. I’m only a few tracks in and its knocked me sideways. Essential purchase.
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