For me, No-Man’s ‘Together We’re Stranger’ still represents the best work I’ve done, or at the very least the work that’s closest to my idea of what I want to do with music. Simultaneously, expansive and intimate, electronic and organic, I think the album’s combination of ambient experiment and emotive song-craft, will be difficult to better.
Despite some mixed performances, the increasingly inspired studio work saw Centrozoon end 2003 in style. With three very different albums almost ready for release, 2004 will be a crucially important year for the band.
Elsewhere, the collaborations with Hugh Hopper and Rhinoceros were exciting and produced some excellent work, while the Alice duets and Henry Fool recordings provided enjoyable experiences.
Bowness/Chilvers had a year of good live performances (particularly Toronto and the King Of Hearts) and interesting, ongoing studio sessions, including a couple of strong collaborations with Roger Eno.
With a collection of solo ‘Voiceloops’ nearly prepared and some ideas for an intimate piano/voice/accordion album currently under discussion, hopefully 2004 will throw up some intriguing new directions and releases.
Now, back to Ray Mears!