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Delay Tactics — Out-Pop Options
(mp3.com 56433, 1982/2000, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2001-12-01

Out-Pop Options Cover art

Delay Tactics was the St.Louis based trio of Reed Nesbit (guitars), Walter Whitney (synths, rhythm machines), and Carl Weingarten (slide guitar, loops, delay), Out-Pop being the first of two albums (although a posthumous Live album is in the works and may be available by the time you read this). This differs significantly from the band’s second album Any Questions? which featured a slightly different lineup (Nesbit replaced by David Udell) and a more heavy reliance on synths and programming. On this debut release, there is a stronger emphasis on the guitar work, although the foundation of the sound is still very much rooted in Whitney’s synths and sequenced percussive structures, often enhanced by sampled voice loops. As an example, a track like “This Time / Five PM Expressway” is clearly the product of its time, but unlike so much of the early-80s disposable synth-based pop, it remains interesting two decades later due to the progressive spirit of creativity that drove it. The contributions of both guitarists are very different, and neither is operating in conventional rock guitarist mode. Nesbit seems to work primarily in a textural style, a la Bill Nelson, offering melodic structures, often heavily treated. Weingarten, on the other hand, is working with fluid guitar colorations through the use of loops, not unlike Robert Fripp of the same period. While the fruits of this sort of creativity were later hijacked and homogenized by the pop music industry, the work of these pioneers deserves to be heard.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 23, 2000 releases, 1982 recordings

Related artist(s): Carl Weingarten, Delay Tactics

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