Further Afield forms the first part of a double cassette issue from 1998, four years after the previous Voice of the Rain release, during which time I had been living in Berlin.
If the world was digital, it was nascently so and for me, these were still the days of letters and phone calls; collaboration at such distance was ‘difficult’.
Difficult too to view it as a separate entity from its companion piece – we had four year’s worth of songs, most of mine fully structured and Rob’s just needing a lyric and melody. Sunday’s Best sticks out as the only one we sat down and actively wrote together and is a good example, with Millenium and Mezzo Cammin of just how accomplished Rob’s instrumentation and arrangement had become in transforming our traditional acoustic sound.
If Feminist Fatale, Dog Years and Novemberland are very much tales of Berlin and Klara’s hair inhabits the streets of the old town of Prague, the prologue, McCrackity and The Survivor have a more usual English romantic setting, whereas Byron was inspired by the loss of a friend of mine who had drowned in Costa Rica. Juliette Binoche, one of the four addressees of Fanmail, is, as far as I know, the only one of the four who possesses a copy.
Richard Knowles April 2014
This album marked the move to digital recording for the band with the purchase of a four track MiniDisc recorder, which promptly broke.
It was a high-tech affair all round with a recently won Roland synthesizer being used extensively on the album whether the songs needed it or not. What with guitar synth on Sunday’s Best and Yamaha Wind Controller on Mezzo Cammin & Millennium it says something for the songs that they withstood the onslaught of toys.
Robert Boole May 2014
Reissue Track Listing
A Typical Day In The Life Of An Invisible Man
On The Rocks
A Scar Is Borne
Breathing Space July
All the songs were written and performed
by Richard & Rob.
The cover photograph, ‘Hotel de la Brinvilliers, l’empoisonneuse Rue Charles’, by Eugène Atget is courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program