Grey Soviet tenement blocs are the visual images I see in my head when I listen to this recently unearthed album from the good Baron's vaults. Composed between 1989 and 1994, "Lives & Privacy" is an example of how alienated and minimalist musical tendencies can be devastating when properly attuned. No one is saying who did what on this album, we are left to conclude that Mr. Maxted is responsible for it all. Whoever he is, or they are, my hat is off. Tracks like "People I Know" and "We Must Understand" belong in heavy rotation club-side. They are examples of slowly building tension in composition contrasted against rhythmic divination I've certainly not come across before.

Did I mention this thing (and it does things to one's mind, be assured) is strictly on vinyl? Well that ought to separate the fans from the noviates, I feel. A magnificent grey shade of angriest battleship, "Lives & Privacy" is the after-party gone right to hell. The closest comparison I can make would be Plateau's debut "Music for Grass Bars" if nothing more than for the brutally executed beats, alien intonations, an occult concurrence... an effluence wrested and wrangled from the very depths of a viscously polluted industrial tarn.

This work has been proffered by the artist as being early Portion Control meets Severed Heads, however, I perceive a lot more going on in the sonic alchemy. There is dissonance and then there is the risque tampering with the known musical universe Mr. Maxted happily toys with. Some of it sounds primitive and then the other parts of the equation reveal themselves and you see why those tones were chosen in the first place. The atmosphere and sheer concrete tone of this thing astounds me. Here is why we listen to the music we do, this is utter paydirt; the claxon sounding for we of a disaffected and disillusioned present time.

Quite simply, you won't hear another album like this anytime soon. It's age of composition is irrelevant, the work contained is surely the cure for many many modern ailments in these dishonourable days of pop continuing with it's exponential intrusion into the surreal. Shape-shifting and chameleon-esque, Mr. Maxted are the backing tape to many a stand-up push button act's existence. Back to it.