Section 25

The Key of Dreams

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Always Now had plenty of looseness about it, and that's no shocker 'cause a third of it was improvised. However, the structures of the songs on Section 25's second LP, Key of Dreams, make its predecessor seem a lot more honed and warmed over in comparison. The overall sound, influenced by dub, Krautrock, and '60s psychedelia (and, yes, probably Joy Division as well), has changed little from the debut, though the sullen eeriness has gotten more extreme. As a result, the album doesn't quite have the bite of Always Now, as it's sunken in a glum, mid-tempo pit of dejection. It does have a consistency of sound and a good flow to it (the swirling, relatively buoyant "No Abiding Place" comes along at just the right time) but it could just as easily be taken as a samey stretch of pointless murmuring. Let it be said that if you're attempting to shake comparisons to Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd, which Always Now was likened to, the last thing you should do is conclude your next record with a 15-minute instrumental full of crashing cymbals, meandering guitars, and creeped-out atmospherics. And that's exactly what "Sutra" is. So if Section 25 claimed to not be influenced by certain spacey elements of Pink Floyd, it would have been just as ridiculous as Pink Floyd's complaints that their music wasn't psychedelic. The Les Temps Modernes reissue adds a number of things. First, there's most of The Beast, a 12" that boasted two versions of the electro-fied "Sakura," the group's first dabbling with sequencers (including some help from Bernard Sumner). Second, there's "Je Veux Ton Amour," a French version of "Dirty Disco." And then there's "Hold Me," a decent compilation track that also reflects their early foray into dance music.

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