The Remote Viewers: The Minimum Programme Of Humanity (2002)
This is one of those bands that is hard to categorize. At times, this British trio can come off sounding like a futuristic pop outfit with a Gothic twist. Or a modern jazz group that melds programmatic sax parts with free spirited improv. Whereas the musicians enhance their palate with streaming synths, electronic percussion and subtly conveyed 4-note melodies on pieces such as “Traveling In A Comfortable Car.” To that end, “The Remote Viewers” feature the gorgeous and sometimes hauntingly beautiful vocalizations of Louise Petts, who also incorporates alto sax and electronics into her arsenal. With its fifth release, the ensemble sets Bertolt Brecht’s poems to strangely exotic melodies and shadowy themes. They flirt with the macabre throughout “Once,” which is a piece that is all about stark three-way dialogue, and an ominously enacted, metronome-like tempo. The artists meld electronic percussion loops with superb use of space on “Early On I Learned, while Ms. Petts recites text atop stinging EFX treatments during the piece titled, “Brecht’s Gothic Tale.”
The band brandishes a mood or vibe that sometimes parallels its appelation, via imagery that can often allude to making contact with the other side. Receiving a new album by this lot always comes as a welcome surprise. Hence, they seldom fail to obliterate all tangible notions of reality. Recommended!!
Track Listing: 1.Travelling in a Comfortable Car 2.The Leavetaking 3.Changing the Wheel 4.Once 5.The Learner 6.Early On I Learned 7.Great Times, Wasted 8.Brecht
Personnel: Adrian Northover: soprano saxophone