First album in 14 years from artful US exiles
Always more popular in Europe than in their native America, Tuxedomoon’s best work remains a brace of groundbreaking No Wave albums on The Residents’ own Ralph label. This new set might just be their best since the passing of the era they helped to define, and reunites the core trio of Steven Brown, Blaine Reininger and Peter Principle, now scattered between Mexico, Athens and New York City. Happily, the far-flung geography benefits the music, which ranges from idiosyncratic string stylings on “Baron Brown” to scribbly electronica on “Annuncialto Redux”. DJ Hell, who reissued the seminal Half Mute album on Gigolo International in 2000, provides the unobtrusive pulse on “Here Til Xmas”, and elsewhere Tarwater, Juryman and John McEntire of Tortoise collaborate to good effect.
The angst quotient may have dipped since their heyday, and Winston Tong remains missing in action, but these enigmatic moodists still do night, fog and rhumba like nobody else.