(Ba Da Bing)
Among fans of forward-looking, inward-gazing,
cortex-twisting music with touches of ambient, jazz, post-rock, minimalist
classical and musique concrète, Talk
Talk’s 1991 swansong #Laughing Stock# knows precious few peers. By the
time of the album’s original release the UK group had wholly freed itself from
its early ‘80s trappings as a fey, slightly derivative synth-pop band, with
hushed (though expressive, resembling Peter Gabriel) vocalist Mark Hollis and
keyboardist Tim Friese-Greene intent upon exploring the outer limits of pop via
improvisation and a healthy appreciation for the Miles Davis-Teo Macero school
of studio tape editing.
Nowadays you can hear Talk Talk’s influence in Radiohead,
Explosions In the Sky and others, but 20 years ago, this was radical stuff. Laughing Stock flows like a dreamscape
and is imbued with a haunting, devastating beauty. Also worth noting: Ba Da
Bing has concurrently reissued Hollis’ eponymous post-TT solo album from ’98.
Grass,” “After the Flood” FRED MILLS