Steve Kilbey

Remindlessness

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First released in 1990 and re-released in 2002 with a slightly expanded track listing, Remindlessness found Steve Kilbey doing more experimentation on the solo front than before, combining more access to multi-track recording with the use of a sampler, which he described in the 2002 issue's liner notes as the reason for "the radical difference between this and the solo records preceding it." Certainly there's a fuller sound to many of the songs in comparison to the rougher or more skeletal efforts in the past, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on the track (again, Kilbey has the best word on this, saying that while much work was done throughout, it was "sometimes to no avail"). Given that this was verging on the height of the Church's glossy though still accomplished aim-for-America period after the fluke success of "Under the Milky Way," some of the stiff electronic percussion in particular sounds all too appropriate as a backing track for something middling, or even simply as a demo for the full band to work on. But other songs are striking efforts that predict some of Kilbey's later work in collaborations away from the band, like first-album-era Jack Frost and Isidore, where acoustic and electronic impulses work in tandem rather than at cross-purposes. Opening song "The Neverness Hoax" slowly rises from silence, another example of Kilbey liking to start any album he's on with a sense of the theatrical, while miniature epics like "She Counts Up the Days" (with some freaked-out guitar work predicting where the Church would soon collectively go), "Pain in My Temples," and especially "No Such Thing" all benefit from Kilbey's audible sense with trying new approaches. Various guests, including Church bandmate Peter Koppes and Violinda (logically enough playing violin), contribute here and there but otherwise this is all Kilbey's show, and if imperfect still has some of his patented moments of cryptic drama on fine display.

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