Artist: Clan Of Xymox
Title: Brave New World
Genre: Coldwave / Darkwave / Goth / Gothic Rock / Electronic
Release Date: 7th May 2021
Label: Trisol Music Group
A great writer once said that GARY NUMAN is creative within narrow parameters but what he does he does well and stamps “This is my patch!” on the packaging with the force of a jack hammer hitting hot metal. Well, most of that can be attributed to the writer in question but the last bit is my embellishment.
The same things can be said of CLAN OF XYMOX. They have been around for the best part of 40 years flitting in and out of dark corners when the mood suits them. Once signed to 4AD and producing atmospherically moody synth gothic tomes that were miserably uplifting and danceable just like DEAD CAN DANCE or X-MAL DEUTSCHLAND. Then came a direction change into Acid House territory in the late 80s / early 90s which met with poor sales before they refocused back on what they do best.
Now this is just an album of two tracks padded out with numerous remixes. I’m not really a fan of remixes, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they add another dimension to a release and on other occasions they don’t. Sometimes they are boring or try to outdo the original and, in the process, not achieving that goal. But, this works! As a whole I find it a pleasurable and not disjointed overblown mess! As with Sir Gareth Of Numan’s work, which is easily identifiable, so is this easily attributed to CLAN OF XYMOX. To me it comes across like a cv of versatility within the close confines of the genre.
Base around the past year’s lockdown restrictions, the frustrations and psychological disintegrations, the readjustments and changes that have needed to be implemented and accepted, I could say that this is just one track evolving throughout its duration and not various interpretations. However, you see it, it’s just a great listen. Danceable yes, dreamy inducing, yes! Cerebral? There’s that too. All wrapped up in a silk blackness. Like a silk scarf coloured with Vanta black.
The opening version ‘Brave New World’ is what I’d call “Goth Jolly” with it’s simple guitar refrain and keyboard vein that meanders through it. ‘Lockdown’ version one carries on this “Goth Jolly” theme but an accompanying image of leather boots dancing around a pile of leather handbags and backpacks jockeys for attention in my head. The CLAN OF XYMOX remix ramps up the urgency to an irritated hammering that pounds your head in an “Can you see what they are doing?” tone! This track also screams ‘This is US!’ if you haven’t worked it out already! “It feels like another life on Mars!” the lyric goes on the SJÖBLOM Remix of ‘Lockdown’ in a kind of resigned way.
The ‘Brave New World Matt Blvck Mix’ is sludgy in that Vanta Black kind of way. I feel like the Swamp Thing, rising from black wet depths covered in mud and goo… The ‘Lockdown Sine Remix’ slows things down and takes on an aura of menace. The focus of attention here is of punching people in the face. And we end on another version of ‘Brave New World’ with that aura of the Goth Jollies about it. We are where we are I suppose so we’d better just get on with it?
To summarise, this is pretty much what you expect from CLAN OF XYMOX, they know what they do and they do it well. 32 minutes of interesting ear worms I’d say!
01. Brave New World
03. Brave New World - Clan Of Xymox Remix
04. Lockdown - Sjoblom Remix
05. Brave New World - Matt Blvck Remix
06. Lockdown - Sine Remix
07. Brave New World - In.Visible Remix
Ronnie Moorings - Guitars and Vocals
Mojca Zugna - Bass guitar
Mario Usai - Guitar
Sean Göbel - Keyboards
https://www.clanofxymox.com / https://sjoblom.bandcamp.com / https://matteblackus.bandcamp.com / https://sineofficial.bandcamp.com / https://in-visible.it/
Total: 8 / 10