Telescopes
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Taste , 6.5/10
Trade Mark Of Quality , 5/10
Telescopes , 4/10
Unisex: Stratosfear , 6.5/10
Third Wave , 6/10
#4 (2005), 5/10
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Nell'era degli "shoegazer" i Telescopes rappresentarono una variante un minimo piu` rock. Vennero alla ribalta con i singoli del 1989 (Kill The Wall, 7th Disaster e Perfect Needle), raccolti sull'album Taste (What Goes On, 1989).
Tracks: the pastoral And Let Me Drift Away (with piano, violin and French horn), the wild, chaotic rave-up I Fall She Screams, Oil Seed Rape, Violence, Threadbare, The Perfect Needle, There Is No Floor, Anticipating Nowhere, the catchy Please Before You Go, Suffercation, Silent Water, the eight-minute space-rock jam Suicide.

Ma dall'anno dopo, ovvero da To Kill A Slow Girl Walking, Precious Little ed Everso, e dall'album Trade Mark Of Quality (Fierce, 1990), il gruppo aveva iniziato ad "alleggerire" il sound, pervenendo infatti alle armonie piu` sofisticate dei singoli del 1991, Celeste e Flying, e al piatto album omonimo del 1992 (per la Creation), che ne decretera` la morte.

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In the mid-1990s, Telescopes singer Stephen Lawrie and guitarist Joanna Doran launched a new project, Unisex, featuring a new rhythm section and, notably, Nick Hemming on keyboards. After the band debuted with the single They Do Feel Strange (No Name, 1996), the idea languished for a while, but then took off with the mini-album Deadlock (Doubleagent, 1999) and the full-length Stratosfear (Double Agent, 2000). Unisex plays lush, melodic dream-pop with shoegaze-style droning and dark-punk atmospherics. The album is eminently psychedelia, but arranged with a wealth of instruments (theremin, clarinet, vibraphone, vocoder, piano). It sounds like a hybrid of Spiritualized and Radiohead, but also Klaus Schulze and Brian Eno. If Full Force Of The Sun, Midnight In The Stratosphere and Calmer Song are obvious lysergic trips, the futuristic lounge music of Autopilot opens new horizons, and the band excels at merging different styles (exotica and jazz in Departure Lounge and The Anti-Gravity League, trip-hop and space-rock in Sidekick & Emo) without ever losing its hallucinated pace.
The Telescopes returned with a precious ambience and a sleepy intensity on Third Wave (Double Agent, 2002). Other than an expanded instrumentation, the album is not significantly different from its predecessors: lots of class but no innovation. Ditto for #4 (2005).

As Approved by the Committee (Bomp, 2003) is a career retrospective.

Altered Perception (Space Age, 2004) is a compilation of unreleased tracks and rarities.

The mini-album Hungry Audio Tapes (2006) was the most original work of this phase.

Singles Compilation 1989-1991 (Mind Expansion, 2009) and Singles Compilation #2 (Mind Expansion, 2009) compile all the singles. (notably Winter #7, The Perfect Needle #4, Another Sky, Household Objective #2, Dsm-1v Axis, Another Whip, The Blue Shroud Of Alkatraz on the latter).

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