When I first learned last year that John Foxx had been recording something together with Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) and Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) for the Ghost Box label, I assumed it would be another entry in their Study Series, i.e. two or three tracks on a 7" single. That in itself was enough to have med longing for it. When it turned out to be a six track 10" EP instead, I was, well not quite ecstatic, but pretty damn close.
When I'm this excited about something I quite often feel a bit disappointed when I eventually get to hear the actual record. In this case that wasn't to be the case. "Empty Avenues" is a stunning piece of nostalgic synth pop at it's best. All the three main participants signatures are there clearly on each track, and yet they seem to fit together so snugly that they seem made to be working together. Even though I greatly appreciate Foxx's collaboration with Benge as John Foxx and The Maths, this is just one step ahead of those albums for me. The lyrics and their mood fit perfectly with the general sense of melancholy and retrofuturism that permeates the proceedings. The links to Foxx's lyrics on Metamatic is obvious, but these are more mature, more settled down takes on the same topics: urban desolation and man alone.
Apart from the five main tracks Pye Corner Audio also delivers a remix on the title track, which perfectly rounds out the EP. What I supposed would be a single turned out to be an EP that I wish would be a full album. Would it be too much to ask for some kind of follow up?
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