Exposé Online banner

Phoenix — Renascent Phenomenon (Archives 4: 1970-1971)
(Polumnia PO15, 2003, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2005-09-01

Renascent Phenomenon (Archives 4: 1970-1971) Cover artSupposedly this album of songs was written back in the early 70s for the original version of Dutch group Phoenix, which included Jos Hustings who, along with partner in crime Mathilda Roza, is responsible for this album. Thanks to modern home recording technology, Hustings and Roza are able to realize their musical visions, though I doubt Hustings’ old band ever pictured the songs sounding like this. The pair have divvied up the instrumental duties that include vocals, guitar (mainly acoustic), bass, keys and drums with Hustings solely credited for all of the writing. With all of the instruments credited to them, you’d expect these songs to sound pretty big, though just the opposite is the case. Stylistic reference points would have to be Peter Hammill, especially on “Day after Night” or “In Between.” The arrangements are extremely minimal, a la 70s Eno and often centering on Husting’s distinctive vocal, drums and keys and/or acoustic guitar. The final touch is a synthetic veneer and processing that many of the songs (particularly the heavier or more somber) gets pushed through so that the vocals are strangled, the keys and guitar heavily compressed and most of the other instrumentation a dull roar. I can’t tell if this is intentional or if this is the best that Hustings and Roza can conjure up given their set-up. The Gothic electronica crowd will probably enjoy the prevailing somber atmosphere to the album, and fans of songwriters-with-a-twist like Roy Harper might find this to their liking.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Phoenix

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Josiah - No Time – I can close my eyes and really believe that I'm listening to some long lost British heavy rock classic from 1970 on the Vertigo label. Josiah has that sound down cold. Think Sabbath, Motorhead, Uriah...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues