At the core of the soul there lies, so they say, the essence of Who You Are in the form of a thin, white rod of unspeakable information...

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BBC Sessions

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BBC Sessions

At the core of the soul there lies, so they say, the essence of Who You Are in the form of a thin, white rod of unspeakable information. It’s where music, and all the good stuff, explodes from, into the world outside. [a]Cocteau Twins[/a] were always the sound of the rod itself; still buried, incomprehensible, in brilliant, blinding white light. Or, if you like, self-conscious, sob-art, freak-show fuck-ups embalmed into spook-speak by sexual abuse and heavy drug addiction, the sonic embodiment of the terrorised ‘indie’ soul. Magic!

Here, then, is the Cocteaus‘ recorded BBC radio history, from its indie-reign gloom-pop beginnings in ’82 – the ‘hits’, ‘Hitherto’, ‘From The Flagstones’ (so good, er, you get them twice) still splicing your pansy shimmer with their deadly shard – to ’96 when their hymnals to hope-in-hell equalled the incandescent piano-panoramics of 1984’s ‘Otterly’. It’s all here; classic, nebulous tweet-pop echoing Joy Division, The Smiths, Portishead, Mogwai, all through the Cocteaus‘ unique, cool-blue crystalline prism. Man. If you have these records, you don’t need this. But it’s beautiful; the first autumn album from the band who still feel like autumn itself – all birth in the face of death and those weirdy, wintry, unspeakable passions. Once, indie-schmindie meant the most beautiful music ever made. If that’s where it’s coming from again, here’s one brilliant, blinding-white blueprint to light the way. So get yer rods out, get yer rods out, baby. We ain’t defeated yet, dudes.