NEW MUSIK'S first and best album. Ten perfect songs plus b-sides.
A regrettably short then-lifespan for a band - three albums over not-quite four years - but the modest splash they made and the resulting ripples were almost always perfectly formed. And most of the success was due to one man, TONY MANSFIELD, who crafted a new wave electronic sound that was both unique and unmistakably no-one else's. As part of the burgeoning synth movement that sound enabled them to stand out. Conversely, their image - or complete lack of it - rendered New Musik almost invisible (to a man they appeared to belong squarely behind the sales counter at Maplins, rather than onstage at Top of the Pops wearing drab boiler suits), but I suppose that's showbusiness for you.
However, the singles STRAIGHT LINES, THIS WORLD OF WATER and LIVING BY NUMBERS were light, swirly, infectious gems. Populated throughout by regular bass, drums or drum machine, precise electric/accoustic guitars and layers of sharp synths (over which Mansfield sung deceptively simple lyrics) this became the template for the New Musik sound.
Don't be fooled by the above scan, the album cover is in stark contrast to the musical contents, all grey walls with a folorn daffodil stuck in a glass of water looking for the sunlight. No respite on the inner sleeve either as storm clouds and rough seas threaten to engulf the expressions of our four bemused and windswept townies. Note: the magic of owning the original 12" vinyl LP, of course, meant that sizewise you could stare at the content for hours trying to read in some kind of cosmic significance (that's the kind of thing you did when you were eighteen) even if it was simply another routine day in Margate for everyone else concerned.
A truly original album, full of memorable music. It's as contemporary now as it was in 1980, but it remains special to me because I was there, ready to be swept away right from the start. Happy times.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED