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It is a truth universally acknow- ledged that Devon is more famous for cream teas and palm trees than erudite pop experimentalists, but Metronomy are on course to change all that. Like their Cornish forebears Tom Middleton and Aphex Twin, they are rewiring the circuits of south-west music history. Metronomy are a pop group that are more Four Tet than Fab Four, though with a sense of adventure that wouldve made the Fabs proud.Metronomy, the effective alias of the talented Joseph Mount, have thus far released three albums, starting with the jagged electro manoeuvres of their debut Pip Paine (Pay The �5000 You Owe), through to their two albums on Because, Nights Out, where Mount first sang, and last years brilliantMercury-nominated The English Riviera. Like XTC or the early work of Simple Minds, Mount has managed to navigate a course towards the charts while retaining a taste of the avant garde, something sorely lacking in a world full of X Factor metro-gnomes.In some ways The English Riviera was a counterblast to the well-worn dead-end town motif that pop musicians often level at their hometown. The record is a celebration of coming from Devon, says Mount, but imagining theres a bit more to it than that. My idea is to make people jealous that they dont hang out here because its so nice. The riviera, as told by Metronomy, is more St. Tropez than Cleethorpes.It should come as little surprisethat their first outing under the Late Night Tales banner incorporates the many sides of Metronomy (as well as a few surprises). An old favourite Autechre is present and correct, but then so are Kate and Anna McGarrigle and the Sun Ra of hip hop Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Surprises? There are a few.Joining Sa-Ra on the hip hop front, weve got Tweets ace Drunk from her Hummingbird album alongside OutKast Prototype, spiced with some Doctor Octagon. For pure pop, they dont come more refined than Alan Parsons Eye In The Sky, who is buffeted by outbreaks of unsettling weirdness, among them the sadly departed Mick Karns supple bass figurines on Weather The Windmill orTontos Expanding Head Band the guys that brought the funk to synthesizers with Stevie Wonder and Cybernaut. And just when you think youve got it figured, Pete Drake arrives with his 1964 pedal steel novelty hit Forever. This is a maze rather than a journey.Naturally enough, there is the Late Night Tales special with a sparkling Metronomy rendition of Jean-Michel Jarres Hypnose. Weve always had a soft spot for Devon and her cobbled street delights, but seen through the prism of Joseph Mount, it takes on a new hue that makes Brigitte Bardot and that other, lesser, Riviera seem somehow pallid. To paraphrase Buzzcocks: another music in a different riviera.
Bill Brewster


Late Night Tales : Metronomy

  • Various Artists
  • Release Date 2012-09-03
  • Label Late Night Tales
  • Catalog ALND29








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