Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have been listening to some '80s stuff lately from bands such as Naked Eyes self titled LP,  Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark's Architecture and Morality and It's Immanterial's Life's Hard And Then You Die.  All of them seminal '80s albums that have paved the way to some of this new keyboard/electronic
"folk" we have been hearing lately.  I am going to focus on the band It's Immanterial for this posting.  I happen to think their music has aged extremely well and still manage to sound so fresh.  I'm not sure what it is but every time I hear songs like "Driving Away from Home", "Ed's Funky Dinner" and "Washing The Air" to name a few, they bring such amazing joy and no matter how many times I listen to them, I always discover something new.  Hailing from Liverpool, England and formed in 1980 by three former members of  a band called Yacht, John Campbell (vocals), Martin Dempsey (guitar), and Henry Priestman (keyboards) in addition Paul Barlow (drums).  By 1984 the band had been reduced to a duo with Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead, (guitar and keyboards), who joined in 1982.  In 1985, "Space" was first released on one of their fourth and final  John Peel session.  In 1986, they released their first full length album, Life's Hard And Then You Die.  Their music is known for it's subdued, understated nature, with wry wit in the manner of an indie version of the Pet Shop Boys.  Their essence and brilliance lies not only in their eclecticism by mixing, new wave, country, blues, folk, and synth pop in order to keep a wide canvas keeping their albums fresh from beginning to end but also in the dance possibilities of most of their music catalogue.  During the early '90s, they released their last album called Song.  It wasn't a huge commercial success as their previous effort but nevertheless it receive positive reviews by the music press.  I heard the group also recorded a third full album with the working title of "House of Sale".  According to Campbell it is finished and still in the vault.  They shopped it around but could not find a label to release it.  He said they were told it was too "dark".  They were never dark for my taste! Enjoy.

Space (He Called From The Kitchen) Disco Mix - It's Immaterial - Siren

Life's Hard And Then You Die

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