18 Sep 2019
Echoes and Dust reviews The Utopia Strong album
Turns out Steve Davis is not just good at snooker. The six-time world champion makes up a third of The Utopia Strong – having got into modular synthesizers a couple of years before this album was made – and it is clear he is not just here for window dressing. He is joined by Kavus Torabi, a long-time collaborator of Davis’s on radio and a member of Gong, Knifeworks and Cardiacs, and Michael J York – of Coil and Guapo – and the result is a woozy, cosmic testament to the benefits of spontaneity. Or at least evidence of what can happen when three like-minded people with wildly different life experiences get together and make music for fun.
The tracks on this album started life as jams, with no plan whatsoever to make a record. As Davis puts it, “We hung out so we could have a laugh together. But we made some music, improvising and jamming, just for the fun of it and it was recorded by Mike [York], who had the presence of mind to record the sessions. We listened back and thought ‘bloody hell! This is exactly… we would like to listen to stuff like this, why don’t we make it into something more?”
It is lucky for us that they did. Because from the opening track, ‘Emerald Tablet’ with its clear-pool-and-crystals vibe, this is an album brimming with warmth and good feelings. ‘Konta Chorus’, which follows, is a highlight, in an if-Ozrics-did-krautrock kind of way, while the trio of ‘Swimmer’, ‘Unquiet Boundary’ and ‘Transition To The Afterlife’ would serve as an excellent soundtrack to a spacewalk...
Read the rest here: E&D