Undeservedly obscure synth duo reappraised

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Thick Pigeon
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Carter Burwell is today best known as a film composer, who has worked for, among others, the Coen brothers and Spike Jonze, while vocalist Stanton Miranda is a New York-based stage and screen actor. In the ’80s, however they were Thick Pigeon, purveyors of deceptively slight, eerie avant-funk and art-pop. Of these two reissues, 1983’s Too Crazy Cowboys is particularly arresting, not least because of the time that has elapsed since its making.

Working with New Order’s Gillian Gilbert and Steve Morris, their use of studio-generated effects, concussed vocals and techno rhythms are like ghostly suggestions of today’s electronica scene, whispered down the decades from a more spartan age.

Their second album, 1991’s oblique Miranda Dali, is more ‘finished’ and consequently less remarkable (and includes a cover of Maria McKee’s “Breathe”).

Still, it’s sad that pop, unlike other media, is so scornful of this sort of talent.