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John Foxx And The Maths return with a new line-up on their fifth studio album, Howl. Former Ultravox guitarist Robin Simon joins John Foxx, Benge (Ben Edwards) and Hannah Peel after previously guesting with The Maths at their debut Roundhouse show in 2010. "For years, I'd wanted to work with Rob Simon again," says Foxx. "There’s something central about what he does - and I always miss it, no matter who I work with. It’s what Rob can do with a song, and with the sheer power of sound."

Work on the album began back in April 2019 at Benge’s Memetune Studios in Cornwall with Robin Simon involved right from the start, his contributions instantly mutating the original ideas into something new. "Give him a song and he’ll give you three takes - all utterly different incarnations," enthuses Foxx who first worked with Simon on Ultravox’s Systems Of Romance album in 1978. "And it will all be much better. Demolition intercision is what he does and when you get used to the violence he can wreak, it’s a true delight." The singer cites the title-track and first single Howl as a vivid example: "Rob just walked in, did one take and left us all standing on the chairs. So I had to write another song around it. Benge did knockout bass and drums. A great experience and totally out of the blue."

Foxx and Benge originally got together back in 2010, playing a headline show at the Roundhouse in London as the first ever John Foxx And The Maths show before they’d even finished their debut album, Interplay, which came out a few months later in 2011. Forward-looking, intuitive and risk taking from the start - critic Mark Fisher summed them up as "a glimpse into another world in which rock ’n’ roll was invented on Moogs" - their passion for the strange sounds and atmospheres they seduce and rip from the machines in Benge’s studio has inspired a series of fiercely personal electronic records - The Shape Of Things (2012), Evidence (2013) and The Machine (2017), the latter being an eerie instrumental score for the theatre production of E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops. Along the way they’ve collaborated with The Soft Moon, Gazelle Twin, ADULT., Xeno & Oaklander, Gary Numan, Matthew Dear and many more, but at the core of everything is Foxx and the Cornish-based artist / producer. "Benge is this generation’s Conny Plank", grins Foxx. "He bears an uncanny resemblance to him - in every way. Own studio, generosity of spirit, clear vision, astute technical head, musically sound. Original thinker, open mind, eager conspirator in insanity and the desire to push everything beyond its limits and record it all perfectly - but holding no daft prejudices. In other words, the kind of captain you always want at the helm of the Enterprise."

Hannah Peel joined the line-up on the Interplay tour in 2011 and has played every show since, while also adding violin to Evidence and of course, Howl. "Hannah did a few star turns on the album," says Foxx, referring to the vicious noises that she conjured up as textures on a few songs. However on the electro-psychedelic Everything Is Happening At The Same Time, the complex interplay of the The Dance and the romantic longing of Strange Beauty, Foxx describes her string-led contributions as "luscious, expansive and eloquent."

Scheduled for release on Friday the 15th of May 2020, the full track-listing is as follows...

01. My Ghost
02. Howl
03. Everything Is Happening At The Same Time
04. Tarzan And Jane Regained
05. The Dance
06. New York Times
07. Last Time I Saw You
08. Strange Beauty

Compact Disc - Digipak can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


Limited Edition Black Vinyl can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


BUNDLE : Limited Edition Black Vinyl & Compact Disc - Digipak can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


BUNDLE : Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl & Compact Disc - Digipak can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


BUNDLE : Limited Edition Black Vinyl & Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


BUNDLE : Limited Edition Black Vinyl, Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl & Compact Disc - Digipak can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


A Digital Download of the Single Version and the Album Version of the track Howl can be pre-ordered from Townsend Records...


*****

Rob

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Wow 😳 that’s a Fripp guitar sound on steroids. 😎

Sounds bloody great.

Ordered yellow vinyl & cd

Brian

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Blimey! Hello 2020!

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I've been waiting for new material for what seems like ages. So glad that Robin is involved.

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This forum is still here, unlike many others.

'Howl' CD pre-ordered today.

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I immediately bought the single on Bandcamp Monday morning but didn't get the chance to load it on my ipod until Wednesday - no time! What a bracing glamrok/chaotic sound! A surprising dive back into the howling feedback of "Ha! Ha! Ha!" only allied this time with s Bauhaus-like dark whipcrack beat redolent of sex. Foxx hangs back here, proffering only the barest hint of guidance to the raging stallion of Robin Simon's guitar. Whoops, I'm starting my review here! Will finish it for lunch hour's blog today! Suffice to say, surprising and thrilling.

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Originally Posted By: Brian
Wow 😳 that’s a Fripp guitar sound on steroids. 😎

Sounds bloody great.

Ordered yellow vinyl & cd

Brian


Fripp? Shocked that I didn't hear that since he's my favorite guitarist but I immediately heard the kind of serrated chording that Andy Gill [r.i.p.] played on cuts like "To Hell With Poverty." But you're right. There's also evidence of Fripptone® ca. "Scary Monsters [and super creeps…]" to be found here.

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Well, that was easy to write!

Last edited by postpunkmonk; 02/14/20 09:22 PM.
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Whilst it's always good to hear new music from John, the single "Howl" just doesn't do it for me. Sounds like a straight cover of Bowie's Fashion with all the melodic bits taken out.

Hopefully, given Robin Simon's involvement, the album will have something of a "Systems Of Romance" feel to it.

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Karborn has done a video https://youtu.be/HyD0fys8e-g

Brian

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Compact Disc and Vinyl versions of Howl are now available to pre-order at Amazon...

Rob

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My copy of Electronic Sound arrived this morning with the Maths blue vinyl 7".

So now I've heard two tracks, 'Howl' and 'Last Time I Saw You'. I don't hate the sound and I guess and I may grow to love it.

I know I'm not going to be popular saying this, but to me I'm now thinking the new album is going to sound like a Robin Simon album with John on vocals.

Robin's guitar style is very distinctive and the reverb fuzzface sound (techies correct me), is a little over powering. It's the main element of the two tracks I've heard, maybe that's the point, but if the whole album is like this could be a card overplayed.

Maybe it should have been called Hendrix and the Maths?

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There's also an Orange Vinyl version of Howl available from Rough Trade...

Rob

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I received my copy of 'Howl' today and I've given it one listen so far. It's going to take a few listens for sure to appraise it properly.

However on first impressions I don't hear enough hooks to immediately draw me in. Robin co-writes all of the tracks with John and Benge and his guitar playing features heavily on most of the tracks. Those of you who've heard those tracks already released off the album will know what to expect. The final track 'Strange Beauty' and maybe 'The Dance' are the only tracks that stood out for me. They are the most obviously electronic and melodic tracks and Robin's guitar playing is reined in.

I've always liked Robin's playing on 'Systems Of Romance' and 'The Garden' and I was hoping for more in that kind of style rather than a wall of feedback and screeching. But that's me. With time the album may grow on me but for me if you were hoping for something like 'Interplay' you will be very disappointed.

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I keep getting invisible posts when i write what i want to write.

Last edited by Brian; 07/26/20 06:55 AM.
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The album is big ballsy & epic.I like it more every time i play it.

Brian

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Last edited by postpunkmonk; 09/12/20 02:06 PM.
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Still a bug/problem posting more than one line on the forum i see.

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Yes... sorry about that... I'm currently looking into the cause of it...

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Cheers Rob,really weird one this time.

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Originally Posted By: Brian
Cheers Rob, really weird one this time.


Yeah, it seems to be down to an incompatibility with character sets - which manifests when text is pasted in from other sources - or when replies quote previous posts which themselves contain problematic text - usually, but not exclusively, speech marks. The solution appears to be my upgrading the forum.

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