Monday, December 23, 2019

Albums of the Year # 3 Vanishing Twin - The Age of Immunology

From June:

The comparison points for Vanishing Point's rightly hailed new album The Age of Immunology are immediately and plainly apparent. Broadcast and Stereolab. Stereolab and Broadcast. That's not a particularly surprising place of reference nowadays. These two bands seem to have a much greater profile in terms of their influence nowadays than they did when they were putting out records and touring.

Not that The Age of Immunology deserves to be confined solely to that particular box. It's a fascinating and rewarding listen. Taking forward the groundwork laid by these two bands into wonderful new vistas in a similar way to what Jane Weaver has done with her last two albums, this an utterly blissful record.

Of course neither Broadcast nor Stereolab were working in a vacuum. They themselves had a very clear set of influences and inspirations from Dada and Surrealism to Science Fiction and Exotica which Vanishing Twin explore and twist into new shapes with admirable relish.

So while the territory is familiar, the execution is quite brilliant. The comparisons made by the Rough Trade review of the record are apt, 'sultry songs for  musicians', 'library music from a parallel universe'. we're entering into the realm of cliche here but frankly The Age of Immunology invites them. Look at the record sleeve or read the song titles; Cryonic Suspension May Save Your Life, Planete Sauvage, Language is a City (Let me Out). The whole package is a demonstration of the most refined literary and cultural taste of a certain sort and Vanishing Twin are utterly fluent in the language.

No surprise then that this is also top of the list for new releases of the week on the Rough Trade site. Vanishing Twin are just made for the hipper than thou set. No criticism intended. I started to fall in love with this halfway through my first listen and I'm not altogether certain I won't have to go out and buy it, even though I've already got more than enough records as it is. One to listen to in your polo neck and carpet slippers. The Age of Immunology is as good a record of its kind as you are likely to hear all year. The most glorious form of escapism imaginable.

P.S. Here's a press release from the band which describes their philosophy :

'To Vanishing Twin, one of the most exciting young groups in England at the moment, the term is used in dismay on living through a period where borders are being hardened, walls are being built and new boundaries being needlessly imposed. Band members may come from Belgium, Japan, Italy, France and America but they have all made England their home and, on this album, they are heralds of the much better future that is being rapidly dismantled as we speak. The Age Of Immunology - which is sung in all the primary languages of the musicians who made it as well as English - is the soundtrack for those who still believe in the pluralist dream, where the other is embraced and learned from, not isolated and destroyed.'

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