The Asphodells

Ruled By Passion Destroyed By Lust

Andrew Weatherall’s continued journey of remixer par excellence and being the go-to guy for when the decks really need to catch fire across a variety of musical genres is cause for celebration. His place in history is of course sealed thanks to the still mighty ‘Loaded’ but his work with Sabres Of Paradise produced some of the finest envelope-pushing music of the 90s. As a remixer, his more recent mutations of The Horrors and Wooden Shjips among many others saw him crawl into the heart of the songs and emerge with the original spirit intact if not necessarily the same sound. However, it’s the news that he’s returned with an album of own – in collaboration of with Timothy J. Fairplay – that’s been enough to break out the bunting. That Ruled By Passion Destroyed By Lust is utterly magnificent ensures much celebration.

The success of Ruled By Passion Destroyed By Lust lies in a number of differing factors that add up to one almighty whole. Weatherall’s ability to cherry-pick any number of wildly differing influences without relying on any one in particular is remarkable in itself but the fact that he and Fairplay consistently come up with something that’s their own is a talent to lauded. So yes, while the fat, dubby basslines are firmly in place and the Krautrock influences dance across these 10 tracks, The Asphodells manage the unique trick of being both in hock to everyone and no one at the same time.

Crucially, the album is infused with an unmistakeable pop sensibility that’s rooted in classic song structures and an infectious melodicism. ‘One Minute’s Silence’ is a case in point. Like The Human Leagues’ re-imagining of Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock And Roll’, it builds on its digital-glam template before veering off into hypnotic tangents, bouncing rhythms, menacing guitar and Weatherall’s mantra vocals. Elsewhere, those of you disappointed by the ongoing name calling between Peter Hook and his former colleagues will find much to enjoy in – oh, the irony! – ‘The Quiet Dignity’ and ‘Another Lonely City’, two tracks that give a glimpse into what New Order would sound like if they smoked not the pipe of peace but at least several bowls of primo green instead.

And while there’s much to be said for the panoramic production – see the sweeping and glacial synths of ‘A Love From Outer Space’ or the acid squelches of the rubbery ‘We Are The Axis’ – the songs are given much room to breathe thanks to the space that exists on this record. The strolling bassline on opener ‘Beglammered’ takes pauses every few paces as if it wants to check its reflection in every shop window it passes.

This is an album that’s the unmistakeable sound of its creators but one that achieves the enviable feat of sounding as if it’s only going forward. You’d be wise in taking up the journey with them.

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