“My Octopus Mind have created a world with a clear set of feeling and colours. And while pretty and loose, its confusingly dense, as oppressive as it is free and open…”
“Here, for a moment, for the length of an album, the rule of imagination is king and anything might just be possible. Beauty and brutal included.”
Like the best of that West Coast collective that never fades out of the cool indie vogue, that lazy sound’s just an entrapment…
They live in a haze of accidentally anthemic self-made and self-assured angst, where webs and threads of Bona Drag and Juju clean-jangled guitars (from Morrissey and Banshees respectively) weave like a network of nerves up and through.
Beauty and compromise run deep through the veins that are stitched into each ebb and flow. Contorted and kept just a shade out of shape, free-flowing down straights and restricted at angles, I find myself pressed and pinched then released by the unnatural designs of the album’s ambitions.
Harsh isolation, dystopian dreamscapes, semi-connected catharsis caught up in electronic precision.
That’s the evolving sound of Blancmange 2.0; collections of stripped down half hooks, building in escalating elaborations, repeated in sheets of thin ice and cool water. This is Neil Arthur from 2016’s Unfurnished Rooms, through to 2017’s Fader and Near Future, through this year’s Blancmange album Wonderlust.
(…and just what it means to want to be ‘somewhere else’)
A show reviewed last year at Rescue Rooms, Nottingham was the first time I really encountered Blancmange. I’d had an awareness, an occasional knowledge of the odd track or accolade, but that show was my main introduction.
Right after the show, once the lights got turned up, I tried grabbing a couple of words. It was last night of tour and then wasn’t the time but I was assured I could grab a word sometime.