Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Psychogeographical Commission

My listening of late has been of the passive sort, I've been playing stuff that I can either relax and read to or potter about the house to, folding linen, waxing the pouffe, that kind of thing. I was handed 16 editions of "The Wire Tapper" CD a few days back by a colleague at work thinking that I may like some if not all of the tracks held therein so they have been spinning in Hartop Towers acting like wallpaper. They are mainly standard safety pieces...non threatening to the senses apart from when an odd classic by 23 Skidoo, This Heat or Laibach pops up. "Atlantic Waves 2006" with its unreleased stuff by Robert Rutman, John Duncan and Max Eastley is a gem though. (I'm playing it now).
Yesterday though the postman brought "Patient Zero" by The Psychogeographical Commission. It is a concept album. "Patient Zero refers to the original source of an outbreak of a contagious illness within a population or to the most significant case within the population". A Kind of impending Omega Man, Crazies type scenario. There is a narrative to the album, voices which carry the story along. Are you thinking "War Of The Worlds"? (I was).
So my listening habit of the last few days was changed as I sat attentively and listened to the story evolve like listening to a play on Radio 3. The music is very professional, skipping genres at every turn. TPC certainly wear their influences on their sleeves as I can hear pieces of Coil, Throbbing Gristle ("After Cease To Exist" + "Shadow Of The Sun" especially), Psychic TV and Current 93. Track two, the excellent "Beneath The Bricks A Wave" has an acoustic guitar riff not unlike "House Of The Rising Sun" by The Animals (or Angelic Upstarts depending on....).
"Can You Feel It"? is a superb piece with the story being set up with a voice leaving a message on an ansaphone that gets more and more quizzical and desperate (again, reminding me of Coil's "Is Suicide A Solution"? single).
I have had this album 24 hours and have played it three times, hearing new pieces in speech and music every time. A gem. Go to and see/hear for yourself.

I know little about The Psychogeographical Commission apart from that they are from Glasgow, or Newcastle. Last year they produced a CD called "Genus Loci" that I remember as a pleasurable listen full of acoustic guitars and poetry - will have to rediscover that again. Hopefully they will perform "Patient Zero" live. It would be interesting to see it staged.

1: "Patient Zero" CD Sleeve.
2: The Psychogeographical Commission logo. (I have this on a button badge).
3: "Patient Zero" CD poster.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I contributed to the Alphaville interludes on Patient Zero

    Band offical site at

    Or listen on

    and here for early Alphaville demos