Dave Ball

  • Dave Ball
  • 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