Metamatic
Posted By: Rob Harris Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 02/26/18 05:09 PM
We're excited to announce John Foxx's classic Metamatic album will be released as a 3CD Deluxe Edition on the 25th of May, 2018. The first 750 orders made through Townsend Records will include a signed John Foxx art card inside a clamshell box.

The original ten track album was remastered from analogue tapes back in 2014, along with various B-sides. A few tapes full of instrumental music from the session were also set aside for remastering but these revealed further discoveries, including alternative mixes and the song Miss Machinery - a mutant, electro-punk twist on Foxx B-side, 20th Century. Meanwhile John Foxx assembled his notebooks from the period which included lists of possible track titles that have now been used for the unreleased material on this album. Some of the notes were also scanned for the artwork, along with previously unseen photos as well as rare drawings and illustrations. Jonathan Barnbrook (regular Foxx collaborator and Bowie's Blackstar designer) worked on the new reissue design as the project grew to forty-nine tracks across three CDs. This includes fifteen instrumentals on disc three which collectively sound like a lost electronic soundtrack with echoes of Quatermass, BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the dark DIY electronics of Thomas Leer and Robert Rental.

This Deluxe Three Disc Edition includes the following...

- Six art cards inside a clamshell box - the first 750 ordered through Townsend Records will include an art card signed by John Foxx...

- Previously unreleased tracks...

- A forty page booklet featuring previously unseen photos by Chris Gabrin, plus rare drawings and illustrations by John Foxx...

- The 2014 remaster of Metamatic album from analogue tapes...

- Every B-side, out-take and unreleased track taken from the best possible source and (re)mastered over the last four years...



The full track-listing is as follows...

Disc One : Metamatic...

01. Plaza
02. Hes A Liquid
03. Underpass
04. Metal Beat
05. No-One Driving
06. A New Kind Of Man
07. Blurred Girl
08. 030
09. Tidal Wave
10. Touch And Go

Disc Two...

01. Film One
02. This City
03. To Be With You
04. Cinemascope
05. Burning Car
06. Glimmer
07. Mr. No
08. Young Love
09. 20th Century
10. My Face
11. Underpass (Radio Edit)
12. No-One Driving (Single Version)
13. Like A Miracle (Alternative Version)
14. A New Kind Of Man (Alternative Version)
15. Hes A liquid (Alternative Version)
16. Plaza (Extended Version)
17. Underpass (Extended Version)
18. Blurred Girl (Longer Fade Version)

Disc Three...

01. A Frozen Moment
02. Hes A Liquid (Instrumental Dub)
03. Mr. No (Alternative Version)
04. The Uranium Committee
05. A Man Alone
06. Over Tokyo
07. Terminal Zone
08. Urban Code
09. A Version Of You
10. Glimmer (Alternative Version)
11. Fragmentary City
12. Metamorphosis
13. Approaching The Monument
14. Critical Mass
15. Alamogordo Logic
16. Touch And Go (Early Version)
17. Miss Machinery
18. No-One Driving (Early Version)
19. Burning Car (Early Version)
20. Like A Miracle (Early Version)
21. No-One Driving (Alternative Version)

**

Pre-order a copy from Townsend Records...

Rob
Townsend didn't waste any time sending out the preorder email. First time I clicked on the link, it didn't go anywhere, but they got it online a few minutes later. Order placed. Near as I can tell, I haven't bought a new version of Metamatic since 2007, so I guess I was due.
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 02/26/18 05:56 PM
goddammit this must be about the 11th time I've bought this album, but there's too many previously unreleased bonus tracks there for me not to succomb. You win grin
Unreleased material and a signed art card? I'm in!!! grin
Posted By: Nisei Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 02/27/18 09:43 AM
Great release!
I've been waiting for the 2014 master to get a proper release (without having to buy all the other Virgin albums again).
Just curious Robin, does the 3rd disc contain the 1980 demos most of us have on tape?
And if not, will these ever be released?
Originally Posted By: Nisei
Just curious Robin, does the 3rd disc contain the 1980 demos most of us have on tape?


The short answer is "Some Of Them"... wink

The ones which John was happy to be released officially and which would work well in the context of the other tracks around them...

As you'll have doubtless noticed - they have been given more 'appropriate' names... wink

Rob
I ordered as soon as I saw the email from Townsend Records.

Great to have all these tracks collected together plus the promise of unreleased material.

Not moaning but would there have been room to include Jane, the jingles off 'From Brussels With Love' and the short experimental tracks included with Metal Beat? These were recorded roughly around the same time period.

Maybe, I shouldn't be asking here but does anyone know where the 1980 demos could be obtained from, especially as not all of them will be included in this release?
Originally Posted By: Your Shadow
Not moaning but would there have been room to include the jingles off 'From Brussels With Love'? These were recorded roughly around the same time period.


Yes, they were considered.
Yes, there would've been room to have included them.
Yes, they were recorded around the same time period.

However, see my previous comment about John only wanting to include tracks on this release which would work well in the context of the other tracks around them...

Rob
Fair enough Rob.

Looking forward to this release very much.
Not to crow too loudly, but I blogged about this release in 2010!
Post-Punk Monk: Metamania

I'm thrilled by its appearance even though I predicted it in 2013 and it's five years late. Better late than never.

I'm even more thrilled by its modest pricing! I was just complaining last week about the "Roxy Music" super deluxe box with 3xCD+DVD for $160! [though the book may be worth it - it will arrive today after I partook of a half price flash sale online]. This make it imperative that any Foxx fan can afford the goods, and will hopefully snag a few of the uninitiated. If you're going to make us buy this album every time, then the modest pricing and significant upgrading of tracks has been the most soothing of balms. Here's hoping that the color correction on the cover can come close to the original LP printing with that steely gray tone. So far the Japanese Kami pressing has been the most accurate.

I'm thrilled the most with my wife who, once again, immediately bought this for me, though the signed edition was supposed to by my birthday present in September. She told me when I showed her the webpage where I was about to order it myself. Oops.
Posted By: Chris C Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 03/01/18 10:18 AM
Thanks again Rob for your stellar work.

Metamatic has this filmic quality that I never tire of listening.

John takes all this DIY music one notch up from all his contemporaries.

Pathway was John's tardis.

Looking forward to the whole package with the Barnbrook touch and naturally I ordered this on the same day as announced.

Chris C
Hi Rob,

Is this just a one-off release or are the other 3 Virgin Years albums due the deluxe 3CD treatment? Even though we've all bought the albums several times over, if there are still any undiscovered gems from 1981-1985 in the vaults I'm sure we'd all love to hear them!
Great news


Are there plans to make it availlable via Amazon?
Originally Posted By: Shadow Man
Great news. Are there plans to make it availlable via Amazon?


Yes there are, but for now it's only being made available through Townsend Records...

Originally Posted By: Herbert the turbot
Is this just a one-off release or are the other 3 Virgin Years albums due the deluxe 3CD treatment? Even though we've all bought the albums several times over, if there are still any undiscovered gems from 1981-1985 in the vaults I'm sure we'd all love to hear them!


As things currently stand, it's only Metamatic that'll get the Deluxe 3CD treatment.

Rob
Posted By: NerveJam Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 03/05/18 04:37 PM
3 Things:

1. I already have all the stuff on cd 1 & 2 - is there a plan to release CD3 on it's own, as had been done previously on err, can't remember..

2. I think I'll wait for Amazon - I have 30 in vouchers already, probably more by May.

3. Any snippets, samples anywhere of CD3??
Originally Posted By: NerveJam
1. I already have all the stuff on cd 1 & 2 - is there a plan to release CD3 on it's own, as had been done previously on err, can't remember..


I'm (currently) not aware of any plans to make the contents of the third disc available as a stand-alone CD.

Incidentally, the Radio Edit of Underpass (Disc Two, Track 11) and the Longer Fade Version of Blurred Girl (Disc Two, Track 18) have also not been made available (on CD) before.

Originally Posted By: NerveJam
2. I think I'll wait for Amazon - I have 30 in vouchers already, probably more by May.


This release will definitely be made available on Amazon at some point...

Originally Posted By: NerveJam
3. Any snippets, samples anywhere of CD3??


Not that I'm (currently) aware of...

Rob
The Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of Metamatic is now available to pre-order on Amazon...

Rob
Posted By: Halloway Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 03/24/18 04:37 PM
Originally Posted By: Rob Harris

Incidentally, the Radio Edit of Underpass (Disc Two, Track 11) and the Longer Fade Version of Blurred Girl (Disc Two, Track 18) have also not been made available (on CD) before.



Is the Radio Edit of Underpass not the one that appeared on 'The Best of Synth Gold Extended Mixes' CD compilation from 1991? The version on that album is the shorter one at 2:46 long, missing the second verse. My recollection is that the shorter version was indeed the one most often played on Radio 1 at the time. In fact, I remember being slightly astonished the first time I heard the full version!

Link to page with details of the compilation: Best of Synth Gold Extended Mixes
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 05/31/18 10:21 PM
I got mine today smile

Am currently ripping it to my walkman.

As an insufferable pedant, I feel obliged to point out:

- surprisingly, whilst offering a new "Radio Edit" of Underpass 2'48", it doesn't seem to include the actual 7" single edit that has so far only appeared on CD on the "Modern Art" compilation? (3'18" in length).

It does, however, collect all the Metamatic-related tracks that had thus far only appeared on the compilations "Glimmer" and "Metatronic", as well as all the bonus tracks that were on the previous releases of Metamatic (in the Virgin albums 5 Disc CD box of 2014, the 2CD edition of 2007, the Edsel edition of the early noughties, and the original Virgin CD release of the early 90s). Plus demo versions that were only presented as extracts on the 'Metalbeat' interview album. Phew. wink

So basically, for tidiness and sanity of finding things alone,
this is a good release for collecting everything from the Metamatic period - album, singles, promos, out-takes and demos... apart from that one 7" version of Underpass, so hang on to your "Modern Art" CDs!
Thanks for the info.Thankfully I have the Modern Art CD.

The postman tried to deliver mine yesterday but I was at work. It's at the Royal mail office to collect. Unfortunately I can't get there until tomorrow. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the previously unreleased instrumentals.
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/01/18 02:05 PM
So far I've only had a chance to listen to Disc 1, which is the 2014 "for an original analogue mixdown tape of uncertain provenance but PROBABLY it's the original master mix" remaster.

Listening to it on good headphones from lossless flac, it's certainly Metamatic as it surely sounded in 1980. (Much less extreme bass than you'd get on modern records, and the tape hiss left in). Loads of the synth sounds flanged or phased tae fck and slammed by the compressor. Nice smile Everything except the CR78 drums are played manually, many of the keyboard parts are notably off the grid, it's nice smile
I'm struck by the reggae vibe of so many of the basslines (both synth and bass guitar) - unlike so many sequenced "synthpop" basslines of the 80s that followed, Metamatic has a lot of space and angles in it's basslines, all played by hand.
I've gone straight for Disc 3.

Plenty of alternative and early versions which we've already heard but good to have them together.

The unreleased tracks are a mixed bag. Some just very basic but some quite decent tracks. They wouldn't be out of place on BBC Radiophonic Workshop album. I wasn't expecting to hear a piano on Fragmentary City. It's like Satie with an electronic backing. Very nice. I like the song Miss Machinery. The melody ended up in 20th Century.

Considering the history of some of these tracks the sound quality is pretty decent.
Posted By: Gwilym Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/02/18 03:21 PM
Just my luck- my signed card's got a crease in it! cry
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/03/18 11:49 AM
Originally Posted By: Your Shadow
I wasn't expecting to hear a piano on Fragmentary City.


Same piano you've always heard on 'No-one Driving' - I guess it was the Pathway Studio joanna?
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/03/18 12:02 PM
(More appalling pedantry):
other things omitted from this set which could arguably have been on it -

(If there'd been a DVD in the box):
- the 5.1 remix of Underpass (from the 'DNA' compilation)
- the proper (colour) promo video for Underpass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXU0N6MTfX8
- the promo video for No-one Driving https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUGmh9gNxo
- the promo video for He's A Liquid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v78Jmrb1hPY
- is this the actual promo for Burning Car, or is it just a fan mashup? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlTFklZs8lo

- Mark Reeder's "Sinister Subway" remixes of Underpass (and the video for it)
- Karborn's "Dubterror" remix of Burning Car
(arguably these two are non-period items, but then so are the two 2007 "out-takes" (ahem) "Cinemascopes" and "To Be With You"

- The highly interesting "Metal Beat" interview album
- The "A New Kind of Man" live album of all the tracks from 2007 with Louis Gordon

Admittedly I'm asked for three entire extra optical discs in the box there, but frankly I'm more interested in those than some post-cards which were instead taking up the room laugh

I do think the contemporary promo videos are a bit of a howling omission, as they expand the visual concept from the album cover. John seems a bit coy of letting them out in public these days... but given the album has several out-take noodles and rejected mix-downs on it, it seems odd he wants those out there for public scrutiny but relegates his videos to the grottiness of YouTube
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/03/18 12:09 PM
As for the actual new material -

well, it does seem a bit odd to me to include these unfinished ideas. I mean, every musician has tapes of noodles like these - unfinished things that never got turned into songs, or that got recycled into songs later.
As John explains in interviews, the synths and equipment of the day had no memories, so often you'd record stuff onto tape just as a record of the sound, if you thought you might want to use it in future.

Similarly, we get rejected mixes of Glimmer and Mr No - they're clearly not as good as the mixes he decided to use (in those days, every mix was a live real-time performance event!)

Don't get me wrong, most of them are just the sounds you can make with an ARP Odyssey and a nasty phaser/flanger/reverb slapped onto tape, and they sound great smile
And I suppose galleries sometimes even show artists' pencil sketches and studies for later paintings, so here we have some analogous audio stuff for John's work of 1979/80.

On the other hand, there's only so many of these out-takes and bits of fluff you can include without kinda diluting the brilliance of the original finished album, even if you do give it its own CD.
I take your point feline1.

Personally I enjoyed the tracks. I just see them as part of a soundtrack for an imaginary movie.

I agree a DVD containing the videos from this period would have been good for completion sake. I would have liked the track Jane from 'Metal Beat' to have been included alongside the short tracks found 'From Brussels With Love'. Not so bothered about the more recent mixes or adding the live album from 2007. I suppose we all have our own idea of what an ultimate Metamatic release would contain.
Posted By: NerveJam Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/04/18 11:18 AM
Originally Posted By: Your Shadow
I ordered as soon as I saw the email from Townsend Records.

Great to have all these tracks collected together plus the promise of unreleased material.

Not moaning but would there have been room to include Jane, the jingles off 'From Brussels With Love' and the short experimental tracks included with Metal Beat? These were recorded roughly around the same time period.

Maybe, I shouldn't be asking here but does anyone know where the 1980 demos could be obtained from, especially as not all of them will be included in this release?


Eh?
I have never heard of these! Where can I get them?
(Just bought Metamatic 3cd version.. woohoo!)
Hi NerveJam.

The track Jane and a number of rhythm experiments were included on the interview disc 'Metal Beat'

In the early 80's a compilation called 'From Brussels With love' was released. John provided four short jingles for the release. It's been reissued in various forms over the years. I have the CD reissue from about ten or so years ago. Unfortunately only two of John's jingles are included on this reissue.
Posted By: feline1 Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/08/18 10:53 AM
I think "Over Tokoyo" is indicative of the deal with these new bonus tracks.

"Over Tokyo" is basically the delicious phased Elka Rhapsody string synth part from the end of "Touch and Go", played really badly on its own grin (lots of clumsy note changes on the left hand).

It's nice to hear but it's also kinda slightly shoddy smile

What would be even more lush would be a proper 5.1 surround mix of the entire album, rather than just Underpass smile then these phased Elka Rhapsody parts could swim around my entire living room
My box arrived on Thursday. My good friend [also a Foxx-head who had pre-ordered one] was visiting so we jumped straight into disc three since it was the bulk of what we had not yet heard before. I get the disc art with the tape box citing "music for film." Very cinematic little instros of a piece with "Glimmer" or "Mr. No." I have to say the Barnbrook reliance on metallic ink was kind of stunning. The album was the sound of brushed aluminum and concrete, and as the latter was hard to analogize on paper, he did a spectacular job; particularly with the screened tints of the metallic ink.

Now I'm at work and listening to the rest of it.
Posted By: Nisei Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/12/18 05:53 PM
Just wondering, does everyone have the same card signed?
I have the ARP Odyssey patch sheet with the Underpass lead sound but he may as well have signed the cards in a random order.
Originally Posted By: Nisei
Just wondering, does everyone have the same card signed?
I have the ARP Odyssey patch sheet with the Underpass lead sound but he may as well have signed the cards in a random order.


I believe that only copies of the "Underpass" patch card were signed.

Rob
Posted By: Telekon Re: Deluxe 3 Disc Edition of "Metamatic"... - 06/14/18 12:44 AM
I inquired about this: Metamatic Sessions Demos elsewhere in the forum. I have been carrying around session outtakes since acquiring them on a TDK cassette in 1983. I am ecstatic that these tracks have finally been released officially. Here is a tracklist comparison between the above link's and the new edition of Metamatic's as I understand them:

1) Quiet Man 3 = Swimmer III (Garden 2008 reissue)
2) Quiet Man 4 = Swimmer IV (Garden 2008 reissue)
3) Musique D'Ameublement = A Jingle*1 (From Brussels With Love lead track)
4) A New Kind of Man (alt 1) now on Metamatic 2018? (boot lists length at 3:52; could be single version)
5) A New Kind of Man (alt 2) now on Metamatic 2018? (boot lists length at 4:01)
6) He's a Liquid (alt) now on Metamatic 2018
7) He's a Liquid (instr.) now on Metamatic 2018
8) Piano Piece = Fragmentary City now on Metamatic 2018
9) Mr. No (alt) now on Metamatic 2018
10) Drums 1 = official release may not exist
11) Echo Piece = official release may not exist
12) Burning Car (demo) now on Metamatic 2018
13) Jamie's Theme = A Version of You now on Metamatic 2018
14) 20th Century (demo) = official release may not exist
15) Glimmer (demo) now on Metamatic 2018
16) Film 1 (demo) = official release may not exist
17) Bed Light = Over Tokyo now on Metamatic 2018
18) Touch 'n' Go (demo) = official release may not exist. I have this instrumental outtake which is merely the outro with synthesizer hammerings dubbed over it.
19) Bed Cellar = Critical Mass now on Metamatic 2018

I also have a couple drum pieces timed at 38 and 41 seconds and four just as brief "jingles" from the same sessions.

Thanks for the info Telekon.

I've never come across these demos before. Glad to see that many have made it to the 3 CD set.
Originally Posted By: Rob Harris
Originally Posted By: Nisei
Just wondering, does everyone have the same card signed?
I have the ARP Odyssey patch sheet with the Underpass lead sound but he may as well have signed the cards in a random order.


I believe that only copies of the "Underpass" patch card were signed.

Rob


Much easier to avoid unwanted headaches in that manner!
Got mine a few days ago but hadn't had time to really look at it until now. I'd forgotten about the signed card, so that was a pleasant surprise. Haven't listened to all of it yet, but my multidisc reissues of Wire's Chairs Missing and 154 popped up in the mail, too, and Pink Flag should be here any time. (Interesting packaging on those -- hardcover books significantly larger than a standard CD case, like the Change Becomes Us one they did a while back.)
© Metamatic