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21 years after No-Man's debut and 10 years after Bowness's previous solo release My Hotel Year, Tim Bowness returned on the Inside Out label with his ambitious second solo album, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams.
Produced by Bowness and mixed by his No-Man band partner Steven Wilson, the album features performances from Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Anna Phoebe (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and members of the No-Man live band (Stephen Bennett, Michael Bearpark, Pete Morgan, Steven Wilson, Andrew Booker and Steve Bingham).
Classical composer Andrew Keeling, best known for his work with The Hilliard Ensemble, Evelyn Glennie and his orchestrations of Robert Fripp's Soundscapes, provides string arrangements for four of the album's eight tracks.
Distinctively combining Art Rock and singer-songwriter influences, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams alternates between the low-key and the large-scale, possessing the cinematic scope and sophisticated sheen of No-Man's best work, while taking Bowness's music into unexpected areas, including the propulsive drum and string chug of The Warm-Up Man Forever, the fretless bass, synth and choir combinations on Dancing For You, the Nick Drake-esque Waterfoot, and the grinding Rock codas to Smiler At 50 and I Fought Against The South.
The CD edition of Abandoned Dancehall Dreams comes with a companion disc featuring strikingly beautiful mixes from collaborators old, Richard Barbieri and UXB, and new, highly rated Brighton band Grasscut, as well as outtakes and alternate versions of album material (including an extended 2 part No-Man live band take on Songs Of Distant Summers).
The limited edition double CD is packaged in a 16 page Media Book featuring the instantly recognisable artwork of I Monster's Jarrod Gosling.
Completed at Phil Manzanera's Gallery Studios and Steven Wilson's Nomansland in early 2014, the album was mastered by award-winning Pink Floyd engineer, Andy Jackson.
Abandoned Dancehall Dreams is a singular statement from a singular artist.
'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams is Bowness's masterpiece, which is saying something, and a contender as the triumph of 2014.' - Prog
'A perfect blend of the tender and the titanic.' - 9/10 Classic Rock
'Bowness's music has never sounded this magnificent. Drawing on sources ranging from Peter Gabriel to Talk Talk and King Crimson, the end result sounds like nobody but Tim Bowness.' - All About Jazz
Abandoned Dancehall Dreams:
1. The Warm-Up Man Forever (4.06)
2. Smiler At 50 (8.19)
3. Songs Of Distant Summers (5.02)
4. Waterfoot (4.14)
5. Dancing For You (5.59)
6. Smiler At 52 (4.05)
7. I Fought Against The South (8.51)
8. Beaten By Love (3.28)
Abandoned Dancehall Mixes:
1. There Were Days (Smiler At 52, Grasscut mix) (4.53)
2. Sounds Of Distant Summers (Songs Of Distant Summers, Richard Barbieri mix) (5.31)
3. Singing For You (Dancing For You, UXB mix) (4.42)
Abandoned Dancehall Outtakes:
4. Abandoned Dancehall Dream (2.25)
5. The Sweetest Bitter Pill (3.51)
6. The Warm-Up Man Forever (band version) (4.15)
7. Songs Of Distant Summers Part 1 (band version) (4.55)
8. Songs Of Distant Summers Part 2 (band version) (3.59)