1. October Rush


1. Hollow Stems
2. Distant Intruder
3. Perspective Weaved Into The Night
4. Priere (Erik Satie).
5. Silent Weapons For A Quiet War


1.A Glamour Cast By Idleness
2.The Sacred Month
3.Distant Intruder
4.Silent Weapons For A Quiet War
5.Grinding Stones with Eyes
6.Hollow Stems
7.Merciless, Through A Wall
8.Blond Water


1.Green Closing
2.Narrowed Clue
3.The Delicate Address
4.Into The Hollow Face
5.Those In Darkness
6.Fatal Surface
7.The Slow Sea
8.The Unthinking Blade
9.Melancholy Of Words


3.The Border
4.What Is This Thing Called Love (Cole Porter)
7.Extraction (live)


Control Room

The Control Room

This release from the Remote Viewers is a 5 CD set in a limited numbered
edition of 200.

All compositions by David Petts,
except CD5 by Adrian Northover.
Lyrics by Louise Petts.
Engineered by Adrian Northover.
Produced by David Petts & Adrian Northover.
Artwork by Sue Lynch.

CD1, October Rush, renews the groups aquaintance with former members of B Shops For The Poor - Jon Dobie (guitar)and John Edwards (double bass), and also introduces some new collaborators, Glenn Gupta and Dave Tucker on electronics.
This one track CD is a heady mixture of composition,electronica, intense drum beats and improvisation.

CD2, The Art Of Empire, is a reworking of some of the saxophone material found on CD3 into an electronic landscape,creating a world of dark ambience.This features electronics by Kato Hideki, Darren Tate, Glenn Gupta and Adrian Northover.

CD3, An Affair Of Cyphers, is a showcase for the classic saxophone ensemble writing of David Petts, with the addition of Sue Lynch on tenor sax and flute, and Caroline Kraabel on alto and baritone sax..This CD also introduces new experiments in texture,with pieces for larger ensembles.

CD4, The Fiction Department,
is the long awaited follow- up to Sudden Rooms In Different Buildings, and is the classic Remote Viewers trio, performing songs and featuring the haunting vocals of Louise Petts.

CD5, Situations,
is a set of solo soprano saxophone improvisations by
Adrian Northover,including live recording, overdubbed and processed pieces



Control Room reviews

The Wire May 2008

Between 1999 and 2003 The Remote Viewers released six CDs, most of them on the Leo Lab label. The core group was a saxophone trio of David and Louise Petts, who were the principal composers, and Adrian Northover. Louise Petts also wrote lyrics and sang, and the group made imaginative use of lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and songs by David Sylvian, Portishead and Madonna. As their ideas developed, synthesizers, theremins and electronics assumed as great a role in the music as the saxophones. The group were always eclectic to a fault, and certain stylistic elements of their music seemed perpetually at odds with others: the rather stiff arrangements for saxophone trio sat uneasily with often spooky cabaret-style songs, which sat uneasily with free jazz squalls, which sat uneasily with robotic drums, chilly Techno-pop and electronic soundscapes. What Remote Viewers albums often sounded like was film soundtracks - evocative, atmospheric, and full of stylish touches and dark imaginings but somehow, despite the skill and imagination that had gone into their making, rather bitty and not wholly satisfying.
After a four year gap, Control Room continues in much the same vein, though there are differences too, the most significant of which is that Louise Petts only appears on the fourth CD, The Fiction Department, which is billed as a follow-up to the group's 2003 CD, Sudden Rooms In Different Buildings. Rather than cram disparate stylistic elements onto a single CD, the strategy here seems to be to give them a CD apiece. But a key question that needs to be asked of any large-scale project such as this is: does all of the work merit inclusion? The Fiction Department, a collection of songs that slink and throb and don't employ standard song structures, is easily the best thing on offer. Abrasive electronics scour the surface of Louise Petts's words on "Those In Darkness", and her deep, velvety voice suits the languorous solemnity of the music. When the saxophones periodically appear, they're well integrated into the structure and texture of the songs, and there's a marvellous solo on "The Unthinking Blade".
The other four CDs contain saxophones aplenty, and the fifth CD, Situations, consists of a solo saxophone set from Adrian Northover. Apart from a Cole Porter tune - "What Is This Thing Called Love?", on which he makes imaginative use of multitracking, echo and delay - the compositions are all his own. It's hard not to hear elements of both Evan Parker and John Butcher in Northover's playing, but he's a technically adept player and, over the length of the disc, his sound and character come through clearly. The pieces hang together well, as do the songs on The Fiction Department, and each in their own way is a success. What they have to do with each other is, however, unfathomable. Giving them a CD apiece was almost certainly the right decision.
The least enjoyable disc is the first, containing "October Rush", a 38 minute instrumental for flutes, saxophones, double bass, guitar and electronics. The music moves from section to section with a postmodern disregard for stylistic consistency, which presumably was Petts's intention. The second and third CDs have points in common, principal among which is the saxophone quartet (Petts, Northover, Lynch and Caroline Kraabel) that plays David Petts's suite-like compositions. CD three, An Affair Of Cyphers, presents the quartet plain and true. On CD two, The Art Of Empire, aspects of Petts's minimal and rather lugubrious compositions are reworked and enhanced to good effect by a series of guest electronicists, Darren Tate, Glenn Gupta and Kato Hideki. This CD works so well it rather puts An Affair Of Cyphers in the shade. At its best, Control Room is superb, but I suspect that only The Remote Viewers' most dedicated fans will enjoy everything it contains.

Brian Marley.


wire review