[sic] Magazine

Screen Vinyl Image – Interceptors

bq. “Electricity
let it wash all over me”


I was listening to Rick Wakeman interviewed on Test Match Special last weekend (I know, I’m a dinosaur. So sue me.) and he was explaining why he used to rig up more than 30 keyboards for a Yes concert. Why? Because in those days, according to Wakeman, any given keyboard “only had one interesting sound”.
Voila. There you have it. The extravagance of prog-rock explained…. it was all down to the limitations of the equipment. Ironic isn’t it? Given that prog was eventually swept away by punk rock – limited equipment usurped by limited musicians. (You now have my permission to leave [sic] Mag in your droves following such sweeping generalisations. I’m only kidding. Honest guv)

The latest software and synthesizers allow for all manner of sounds to be replicated. How pleasing then to find Screen Vinyl Image using a plethora of keys, beats and samples to re-create one of my favourite music eras, namely the post-punk, alternative or ‘indie’ scene of the 80s. ‘Synthetic Apparition’ is like Jean Michel Jarre giving Gary Numan his first synth lesson…on Numans kit. A sweeping alien vista. Like a gloomy version of Oxygene. But as good as it is, in no way does it prepare you for what comes next. ‘Cathode Ray’ is a slice of powerful, driving, wall-of-sound electronica. Imagine finding Jesus and Mary Chain in the hands of Ulrich. The feedback is glorious. Phil Spector, meets Suicide, meets Can.

Wakeman? Sadly not.

How fitting that two ‘Reid’s comprise SVI. Jake and Kim recall their JAMC namesakes vividly whilst remaining defiantly different. Their record is an assault on the senses. I can’t help but imagine a SVI gig to be one of those pounding, overwhelming events augmented by projection backdrop of speeding car journey and a zillion strobes. I’m given to understand that this is more or less exactly what to expect. God, I hope they come to Europe.
I particularly enjoyed ‘Asteroid Exile’ which sounds vaguely like Violator era Depeche Mode only with a euro vibe and ‘Fever’ which captures the dark dreaminess of The Cure yet rattles along at breakneck pace. The bass on ‘Until the end of time’ is naggingly reminiscent of the organic style of former Cocteau Twin/Lowlife, Will Heggie.

The sequencers though! Ah, those sequencers.

Question: How to review Interceptors without resorting to expletives? Fuck knows. Okay this is not a record that will radically change your life or alter the course of music history. But it is a viscerally exciting experience nonetheless. Every second track here is very good. The rest are stunning.

Electrified, electrifying and strongly recommended.