Another little Journey through Time
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Straight Outta Soft Cell
It was a year before Synth Pop duo Soft Cell disbanded when David James Ball recorded and released his first solo album. The musician who goes by Dave Ball was at the beginning of a long career that still continues while these lines are being written. Playing in further bands such as Other People, The Grid and several reunions of Soft Cell, Dave Ball has been featured in many music and film productions until present day. Nevertheless, In Strict Tempo was his only solo album.
In Strict Tempo contains hardly any coherent themes except for the tempo. The electronic drum beats are surrounded by varying soundscapes, some of them are highly eclectic like the jazzy Only Time, others are very simple such as the opener Mirrors. Motifs that reach from comforting haze to nightmarish noisescapes create dizzy, dark and colourful sonic images. Above them, the mumbled vocals by Dave Ball finalise the misty impression. Altogether, In Strict Tempo appears unformed. A great example is the cinematic and very humorous take on American imperialism Life of Love. Idea and concept are harmonious, but in the end the realisation seems to be done completely hastily. It is an interesting release indeed, but certainly no jewel.