Code Indigo In Concert – Independent CD Review

The band are announced. After an atmospheric ‘Prologue’ we get into the album proper with the fantastic ‘Code 14’. A vocal sample explains about our almost inevitable Big Brother future and an apocalyptic rhythm strikes up along with Gregorian chants and flutey synth. The ideal combination of subtle beauty and brooding power. Guitar flourishes take a steadily increasing role adding to the bite but without over dominating. ‘Autumn Fades’ initially combines gorgeous piano and little guitar licks to create a silken smooth but very moody atmosphere. The guitar really steals the show in a rather Floydian sort of way (Think ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond!’). The pace quickens slightly and the guitar descends lower into the mix, a soothing synth lead becoming the main focus, only to return for a final flourish near the end. We continue without a break, on a montage of chaotic effects, straight into ‘Ten Degrees per Second’.

Rhythms pick up the pace and we chug along nicely. David Wright introduces the band members then we get into ’24 am’. Dreamy little shimmers and faint samples of an airport or train station waft through the air. A gentle piano melody and brass lead slowly awaken us in a very gentle and soothing way. We flow through to ‘Galileo’ on the back of massed silken strings which swell to full orchestral proportions, oozing with a sense of wonder but also melancholy.

The title track from the ‘Timecode’ album uses more vocal samples over tinkling percussion to set the scene. A bass line and rhythm combination strike up and we get a reprise of the melody from the second track. Dual guitars weave a captivating but also restrained spell creating a feel of wonder and deep beauty. Wordless female vocals add a gorgeous ethereal quality. More piano takes us through to ‘Stasis’, another soothing number with an edge of sadness mainly created through Louise Eggerton’s wonderful vocal colouring. The first disc finishes with ‘Eden in Chaos’. After a gentle start things really start to motor, a superb bass loop and infectious rhythm providing real depth over which shine soft pads and blissful lead line. Excellent electric guitar gives a slightly aggressive edge which becomes even more so as we near the end. Wonderful stuff!

‘Area 52’ is a new fifteen minute track. Soothing electric guitar touches hit the spot perfectly whilst lush strings and piano provide an excellent chilled out feel. Acoustic guitar gently augments the electronics making things even more blissed out. The introduction of rhythm and Nigel Turner Heffer’s bass drives things forward, though initially it’s still quite peaceful. As the track progresses the more powerful things become, the electric guitar soaring to match the heightened excitement. After a humorous introduction from David Wright and Robert Fox we embark on a twelve-minute piece of improvisation called ‘Entangled in C’. Soft choral pads swell wonderfully creating quite a euphoric feel. Strings are added and then a gorgeous piano melody sounding like Vangelis at his most tender. Unexpectedly the mood suddenly changes to eerie atmospherics – a real contrast to the first half. Piano returns but this time accompanied by harpsichord adding a wistful touch. We return to the choral pads again to finish. Strident electric guitar provides quite a different feel to the old favourite ‘Uforia’. A sequence belts forward with sampled text in background. Little melodic flourishes then a chugging rhythm heighten the excitement. It’s always been a good track but this interpretation is simply awesome.

‘Cultures’ gets into a groove straight away, the drums softened by monastic chants and piano melodies. Electric guitar initially adds a little extra colour but when both guitarists get in on the act the pulse starts to race. This is a real body-moving piece that just oozes joy of being alive. We follow straight through to ‘Culture Shift’, the pace gradually slows and things become moodier, ending with quite a mournful piano solo. ‘Call of the Earth’ is one of the most beautiful tracks in the Code Indigo repertoire, melody shining from every note, Louise’s vocals giving an angelic quality. Music for the mind and soul. Simply exquisite. The audience demand an encore and the band oblige with ‘Code 11’. It arrives with something of a snarl and a mournful guitar wails. This is a track that is full of emotion- sort of a triumphant conclusion but also with a twist of regret. As well as showing just what a superb live act Code Indigo are this set also serves well as a ‘best of’. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. (DL @SMD)

~ by admusic on May 21, 2007.

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