Alexander Tucker: Third Mouth

Lip-smacking sixth release from the UK experimentalist.

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It’s six albums in for this below-the-radar UK-based experimentalist, and as his recordings become increasingly sonically sophisticated, the similarities to Brian Eno’s mellifluous singing voice seem to grow. But rest assured, Tucker is no mere Eno wannabe.

These tunes are invention-rich environments, percolated with intimate and ingenious soundworlds containing looped rainfall, tangling windchimes, primitive berimbau-like drones, glitchy percussives and hallucinatory harmonising. Incidents from childhood, relationships and other intimacies provide the starting point for several of the six songs here, but don’t expect the usual singer-songwriter confessional.

Rising through waves of bustling acoustic guitar and undulating synths, his words trawl deep into the subconscious, pulling the listener on an undertow of surreally associative games that revel in their poetic obliqueness and abstract imagery.

For all the wilful obscurity, even the most terse and cryptic of pieces on the album has a habit of getting inside your head in the time-honoured tradition of all good earworms. Exquisite.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.