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ALBUM REVIEWS

The Remote Viewers: Pitfall

Read "Pitfall" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

I love a bit of Remote Viewers in the evening. If it's not in the scarcely busy second to last northbound Victoria Line carriage, I follow their urban drifts while strolling, hands in my pockets, on a straight line: the shortest trajectory from A to home. The things you see while listening to this London-based septet are the stuff you wouldn't notice otherwise. Pitfall closes a circle, one that started back in 2012 when the marvellous City of Nets came ...

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The Remote Viewers: Crimeways

Read "Crimeways" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

There is an almost indiscernible, cynical element in The Remote Viewers' music. It is probably hidden between the folds of its noir aesthetics, where contemporary fables of cops and thugs, the fuzz and hoodlums, seem to flourish in the dark corners of complex rhythmic patterns and atonalism. Or it is maybe the juxtaposition between the nocturnal, austere strut of the conversations entertained by the saxophones and the rare but effective interludes in a major key. Whatever it is, it works. ...

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The Remote Viewers: City Of Nets

Read "City Of Nets" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

From A to B. The language spoken by The Remote Viewers is one that feeds itself with the interferences caused by lines crossing each other at various speeds in a continuous effort to connect the dots. We, the humans, are the thriving beads forever longing that 'B' we, sometimes, don't even want to reach. City of Nets is a beautiful picture of a random post-industrial environment, of its contradictions and its organized chaos moving at the pace of our routine: ...

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The Remote Viewers: To The North

Read "To The North" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The ongoing saga of The Remote Viewers entails personnel changes that are neatly fitted into a particular program or stream of consciousness. On To The North, saxophonists Adrian Northover and David Petts extend the band's distinct methodology via a four-sax attack, with marimba and a standard rhythm section. True to form, the musicians pursue off-kilter rhythmic underpinnings, extended note choruses and contrapuntal contrasts. The group's identity partly resides within its penchant for executing staggered phrasings and semi-structured motifs ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Remote Viewers: Control Room

Read "The Remote Viewers: Control Room" reviewed by Nic Jones

The Remote Viewers Control Room rermegacorp 2007

This five disc set is limited to 200 copies, which automatically gives it the distinction of being collectable. Although each disc is obviously the work of a set aggregation, there's sufficient depth and diversity in the ground covered for each to warrant separate discussion.

The Remote Viewers reside on that sparsely populated ground where systems music meets free improvisation and those two fields in turn ...

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The Remote Viewers: Sudden Rooms In Different Buildings

Read "Sudden Rooms In Different Buildings" reviewed by John Kelman

More sparse than previous records (and also more emphatically electronic), Sudden Rooms in Different Buildings finds the British trio known as The Remote Viewers continuing to explore strange scenery. While what they do clearly has a limited audience, they manage to carve out a musical landscape that defies comparison and, consequently, makes for a captivating listen for those who dare visit it.

Starting off with a reading of David Sylvian’s “Ghosts” that is almost completely unrecognizable until Louise Pett’s delicate ...

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The Remote Viewers: The Minimum Programme Of Humanity

Read "The Minimum Programme Of Humanity" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

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The Remote Viewers: Stranded Depots

Read "Stranded Depots" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The trio known as “The Remote Viewers” continues with their tightly woven sax/synth arrangements amid Louise Petts’ often deviously alluring vocals, evidenced on “The Slow Edge” and elsewhere. “Sequences of Regret” features haunting EFX, sounds of the pocket theremin and counteracting horn choruses, whereas the band also intermingles semi-classical undercurrents with intricately executed modern jazz-based interludes and odd-metered two-note unison lines. Basically, the trio’s calling card consists of rhythmically constructed motifs, brimming with complex yet well-coordinated sax parts and the ...

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The Remote Viewers: Persuasive With Aliens

Read "Persuasive With Aliens" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

With their third release for “Leo Records” titled, Persuasive With Aliens, we find “The Remote Viewers” covering David Bowie’s “Jump They Say” and ultra modern rock band, “Portishead”’s “All Mine” along with a collection of originals that earmark this band’s adventurous yet at times cabalistic demeanor. Here, the musicians continue with their three-saxophone hybrid electronics style of attack augmented by Louis Petts’ often-sultry yet otherworldly or dreamlike vocals. Pieces such as “The Destraction of Elegance” and “Alien Landscape” exhibit the ...

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The Remote Viewers: Obliques Before Pale Skin

Read "Obliques Before Pale Skin" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Obliques Before Pale Skin is the follow up to “The Remote Viewers” fine 1998 Leo Lab release titled, Low Shapes in Dark Heat. The proceedings get off to a predictably fine start with Louise Petts’ hauntingly beautiful vocals on the standard “It Could Happen To You” – yet not without the customary twist or two........Aided by a dash of reverb and overall excellent audio engineering, the Trio ensue with eerie and perhaps intentionally bizarre synthesizer sounds which segues into Madonna’s ...

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The Remote Viewers: Low Shapes In Dark Heat

Read "Low Shapes In Dark Heat" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

A new band to this reviewer’s ears. “The Report Viewers” operate as a Trio consisting of: David Petts; tenor sax, synths: Louise Petts; alto sax, vocals, synths and Adrian Northover; alto & soprano saxophones. “Low Shapes In Dark Heat” is a much welcome surprise and a breath of fresh air. Strikingly original concepts, unorthodox arrangements and some gorgeous vocals from Louise Petts. Frank Sinatra will never sound the same after their rendition of Ervin Drake’s “It Was a Very Good ...

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The Remote Viewers: Low Shapes in Dark Heat

Read "Low Shapes in Dark Heat" reviewed by Robert Spencer

The Remote Viewers are a saxophone trio: Adrian Northover on soprano and alto, Louise Petts on alto (plus voice and synthesizer) and David Petts on tenor sax (and synthesizer). On Low Shapes in Dark Heat they play postmodern jazz, powered by techno rhythms. All three of them are clearly excellent instrumentalists. Here they are interested in exploring a postpunk, postfree aesthetic that has tremendous influence over their sound.

The opening track, “What the Building Wants," has the trio playing close ...