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DAVE BALL (Buy CDs by this artist)
In Strict Tempo (UK Some Bizarre) 1983
GRID
Electric Head (UK East West) 1990

Without erstwhile Soft Cell partner Marc Almond supplying the sleaze, shy keyboard man Dave Ball is a cold-hearted bore on his solo album. In Strict Tempo's drab mood pieces strain with little success for wry wit to leaven the pretentiousness, but wind up just a jumble of undeveloped ideas. Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV warbles on two tracks.

Making up for lost time, Ball's first album with Grid partner Richard Norris (a former P-Orridge collaborator who does a bit of vocalizing besides poking at an assortment of machines and guitar) runs through a wide variety of related electronic dance musics: techno-pop (dinky and lush), environmental ambience, go-get'em house, prog-rock and found-sound fooling around. The few songs and the most focused instrumental pieces are fine for what they are, but a seemingly random track sequence badly blunts Electric Head's impact.

[Jon Young/Ira Robbins]
   See also Soft Cell