Andrew Cox was the more talented half of MFH / Pump, releases of which are available elsewhere on this site. Alongside his recordings with David Elliott, he also released four cassette albums on YHR (Arioch, Methods, Hydra and Songs from the Earth) between 1980-83.
Tracks from these, together with other rarities are now compiled on Past Imperfect. The opening excerpt from Arioch - a terrifying salvo of purpose-built oscillators (not dissimilar to Pete Shelley's Sky Yen which was released in the same year, 1980), is actually fairly atypical of Andrew's subsequent output - which could be described as dark ambient before anyone had thought of the term.
Andrew used motley instrumentation - piano, guitar, recorders, reed organ, an obscure synthesizer, pedals and other effects units - to create claustrophobic, crepuscular landscapes, often inspired by paintings or literature.
But what makes this compilation so intriguing are the extras: two tracks from the rare Integrated Circuit Records compilation from 1983, and three previously unreleased pieces from 2000 and 2001 which had ushered in a new, ultra-minimal style.
Sadly, Andrew died in 2009 before he could fully explore this new direction, but it is gratifying to see his music recognised, despite his absence.
1 from Arioch, 1980, YHR
2 from Methods, 1980, YHR
3, 4 from Hydra, 1981, YHR
5, 6, 7 from Songs from the Earth, 1983, YHR
8, 9 from Various Artists’ Integration, 1983, ICR
10 previously unreleased, 2000
11 previously unreleased, 2000
12 previously unreleased, 2001
At this point I can't remember how I found out about this LP, but I'm so grateful I have! Omni Trio was one of my entry points into drum & bass, and to hear Robert Haigh work his magic once again and in such an emotive way... blew me away. This is one of my go-to soundtracks for travelling or whenever I need to calm down. Oh and did I mention Rob is a wizard on the piano? Just listen, immerse yourself and buy the damn thing (thank me later). Beautiful front to back. Alegria