Exposé Online banner

Phideaux — Friction
(Bloodfish ZYZ-777, 1992, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1996-08-01

Friction Cover artPhideaux (pronounced like "Fido") is New York singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Phideaux Xavier. His debut release, Friction, is a dense and quite impressive piece of work. Featuring something in the region of twenty guest players, and packaged strikingly (if somewhat pretentiously) with a rather cumbersome 24-page booklet richly illustrated with original artwork, Friction is quite some effort for a debut disc. Friction covers a lot of stylistic ground over its 22 tracks and 76 minutes. Certain tracks such as "The Odyssey" are spotlights for Phideaux's Steve Hillage-like guitar playing, while others like "Love of a Million Doves" and "Aquamarine" feature mostly acoustic backing, lots of cello and saxophone, pointing to a possible Renaissance influence. His own calming baritone voice graces many of the tracks, though he's often joined by a few female vocalists, often singing lead along with, or instead of him. Most of the pieces are highly arranged, the one exception being the claustrophobic "Claw the Land," the simple arrangement complementing the dark lyrical content. Elsewhere are avant-garde sound collages ("Menace"), indescribable folk-influenced pieces ("Letters to the Tiger") and MIDI-heavy techno. It's the last style which is least likely to appeal to Exposé readers. Also, the occasional use of a drum machine in lieu of real drums on a few pieces weakens otherwise strong tracks like "Resurrection Pact" and "Wake up Little Beauties" somewhat. Due to its great length and astounding stylistic variety, it's a bit of a commitment to put Friction on and listen to it all the way through. It helps to think of it as a bit of a sketchbook of musical ideas, which for all intents and purposes, it is. For someone who has just burst onto the scene, it's surprising that Phideaux should attempt something of such magnitude and scope. And heartening when one thinks of the possibilities of future releases.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Phideaux

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Art of All - Morgan – The Art of All is a young band (Peter Aliferis drums and keyboards, Ruben Ruiz vocals and guitar, and Chris Debari bass) based in Massachusetts who characterize themselves as a progressive trance...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues