John Foxx and The Maths, Evidence
The electronic music godfather still sounds fresh and vital
An under-celebrated godfather of electronic music, John Foxx might flippantly now also be described as its grandfather, but at 65 his fecund productivity shows no sign of abating. Evidence is his third album with his latest band The Maths inside two years, and close on his 40th since he emerged as Ultravox’s original vocalist in 1977. Musically he still sounds fresh and vital. In a digital era, Foxx sticks doggedly to his analog guns, which means that inevitably, the Moog synthesizer-driven squeals and arabesques of Evidence recall the post-punk futurists of the early 1980s. The glacial sci-fi fantasia of “Neon Vertigo” and “Walk” show exactly why Foxx was a bigger hero than even Bowie for Gary Numan, while “Myriads” is a gossamer whirl of skittering keyboards. The wily Foxx even turns the cosmic psychedelic sprawl of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar” into a throb of menacing electro-goth. He has always been a compulsive collaborator and guest artists abound here, with the pick being Brighton vocalist Gazelle Twin’s Liz Fraser-like poise amidst the spectral This Mortal Coil-esque calm of “Changelings.” At an age when most musicians are picking up their bus pass or milking the nostalgia circuit, it’s laudable that John Foxx is still striving to invent his idiosyncratic vision of the future.