John Foxx And The Maths return with a new line-up on their 5th studio album, Howl which will be released on 15 May 2020.
The ever so productive Mr. Foxx is out with a new album dubbed Howl. We kind of have lost count on all the albums this man has produced (believe it is 50 though) over the years, but it is indeed a great legacy. John Foxx has all the since he quit Ultravox back in the days continued to explore new grounds of electronic expressions and always with a strong messaging platform where he ads a spin to contemporary findings.
Howl opening track ‘My Ghosts’ is indicative of the sensibility clashing throughout the record. While the music is propulsive — driven by fuzzed out pop punk riffs, Devo-esque ecstatic synths, and an uptempo rhythm — the lyrics are saturated with the angst of mortality and a life passed by. “My ghost, a cascade of all these abandoned things, all unknown to me, of course,” bellows Foxx in his seductive, post-punk inflected baritone. Former Ultravox guitarist Robin Simon joins Foxx, Benge (Ben Edwards) and Hannah Peel after previously guesting with The Maths at their debut Roundhouse show in 2010.The Maths have created an album of dark, writhing glamour. Often it sounds like haunted static in a cold wind, the title track is a twisted glam-punk celebration of ‘the outsider’ who leaves the fringes to make himself visible, while Foxx switches to a sinister Ferry-esque croon on Tarzan And Jane Regained. New York Times is a report back from the city of the 1970s, with Foxx’s vocals gently coaxing out the vulnerability of its street characters and Factory stars, while Last Time I Saw You revels in an ice-cool narrative illuminated by neon-lit transformations and flickering revelations – this song is built for streets and strobes. The album ends with Strange Beauty, where Foxx sounds like an echo from the 1950s – a voice that is still searching across all these years for something just out of reach.
Just like David Bowie, John Foxx has been able to stay contemporary and relevant over the years, although his artistic outreach maybe deserves to be bigger. As stated few performers have been able to so totally synthesise the theoretical underpinnings and aesthetic gestures of the avant-garde with pop cultural work to the extent that Foxx has consistently been able to. His art pop is akin to mid-20th century modernist fashion photographers like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. Just as Newton and Bourdin suffused works of ostensible advertising with the seductively fetishized codes of surrealism and dada, Foxx has suffused pop and electronic music with the literary stylisations of writers like JG Ballard and Alain-Robbe Grillet and conceptual theories of modernist artists like Giorgio di Chirico and Paul Delvaux. In Foxx’s music, the barriers separating the avant-garde and mass culture disintegrate and the two artistic modes become indistinguishable.
Speaking of John Foxx – Celluloide will release a super-limited 7″ EP, 4-track 33rpm signed clear vinyl edition in September 2020: Translucide”. You can order your copies here.
The EP will feature the single/video edit of the singles “La Cité Des Aveugles” and “Si Tu Renonces” (to be released on september 25), plus additional b-sides: “Air Conditionné” and “L’Europe Après La Pluie”. “L’Europe Après La Pluie” is a cover of John Foxx’s 1981 single “Europe After The Rain” for which a video has been released as you can see below. Each copy of the EP will be signed by Celluloide. A four-track digital download will be available with a code on the single.