320 kbps | 122 MB | UL |
Forget all you know about Blancmange. Forget they were a duo comprising of Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe; Luscombe has been battling illness since 2011 and had to retire from the band. Forget that they released a handful of super-catchy synthpop hits in the 1980s. Forget Arthur’s Sideshow Bob hairstyle. They’ve all gone. Forget even how wobbly blancmange is, if need be. If, however, you heard the low-key release Nil By Mouth from last year then forget all the above instead as you will already know things have moved on, even since Semi Detached was released earlier the same year.
A hiatus of 25 years was ended in 2011 with Blanc Burn, but a seemingly rejuvenated Arthur is now knocking one out every six months. Whilst Nil By Mouth was entirely instrumental, Commuter 23 walks a similar path but this time adds back in the odd vocal here and there. In doing so, it dabbles in ambience and experimentation as before, as well as minimalism, synth soundscapes and occasional downright weirdness but with – in the main – a more humane feel, although barely touching the quirky synthpop of old.