fri 31/10/2014

CD: The Time And Space Machine - Taste The Lazer | New music reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Time And Space Machine - Taste The Lazer

Second album from Richard Norris's project reliably takes space cadets to the dancefloor

Naked ladies with Louise Brooks bobs at a lazer tasting evening

Richard Norris has been mucking about making strange noises and joining the dots (and sometime microdots) in electronic dance music’s shadowy regions for 25 years. He's had multiple incarnations, from NME writer to creator of proto-acid house with Psychic TV’s Genesis P Orridge (on the 1988 M.E.S.H. single and Jack The Tab album). He was one half of The Grid (with Soft Cell’s Dave Ball) and is one half of Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve (with DJ Erol Alkan); he also worked with Joe Strummer, not to mention having some part in the whole narcotic band-gang messiness that resulted in Screamadelica. In short, he’s one to keep an eye on.

The Time And Space Machine is Norris’s new focus. Up to this point it’s been a studio project where Krautrock electronica has been the name of the game. The second album, though, is intended as the basis for a live band to tour the festivals this summer and is a warmer, more organic creature. In fact, it actually has sweet tunes beside its muscular rhythm section. “Black Rainbow’, for instance, has a title and percussion worthy of Motorik sternness but Norris cannot help injecting a lovely indie-pop chorus. Much of the album is instrumental but, as it progresses, it moves from fuzzy, bass-addled swampy organ funkers, such as “Pill Party in India” and “Studio”, to psychedelic pop redolent of XTC’s whimsical Dukes of Stratosphere side-project, albeit with much more groove.

In the end the dancefloor hypno-throb gives way to a final series of numbers that calm things cheerfully down. “Magic Mountain” comes on like The Beatles’ “Blue Jay Way”, all flutey and slothful, and the final “Good Morning”, again musters the Fab Four in full happy LSD prime, with added dubby undertones. Taste the Lazer – worth a mention for that excellent title alone – is business as usual for Norris, but his is an admirably groovy business.

Listen to "Pill Party in India"

This album is intended as the basis for a live band to tour and is a warmer, more organic creature

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