Peter Hammill

A Black Box

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Another emphatic, powerful and technically excellent production from Peter Hammill. More rocky than PH7 or Silent Corner and the Empty Stage, less techno than Sittings Targets, this recording smooths a path between the '70s and the '80s. The lyrics are searching, poetic, psychological. It is difficult to choose a highlight: the hypnotic "Fogwalking" makes an instant impression, while the multipart "Flight" spans all aspects and facets of Hammill's talents: from gentle through loud and brash and back to gentle again, studded with the inimicable sax of David Jackson. The multipart piece is one of Hammill's trademarks: he takes a lyrical theme and expands it, story-like, through several short, connected pieces. Another good example of this type is "Headlong Stretch" on Roaring Forties.

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