Andy Jackson: Signal To Noise

Resetting the controls.

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Pink Floyd’s engineer Andy Jackson may have cursed his employer when the band’s farewell album was released just ahead of his own endeavour, but he could still reap the benefit. While The Endless River is a painstakingly constructed memorial, hemmed in by Floyd’s trademarks, Signal To Noise treads a similar sonic path but with no such constraints.

You could waste a lot of time ticking off the Floyd influences – the more you look, the more you’ll find – because for every similarity, there’s a couple of sounds you’ll never hear on a Floyd album. It also distracts you from listening to the album on its own merits.

Self-written and performed, Signal To Noise has a loose theme – the stresses and strains of everyday life.

It’s beautifully set up on the opening soundscape, The Boy In The Forest, and best encapsulated on One More Push, evoking the legend of Sisyphus (yeah, Ummagumma, I know) and It All Came Crashing Down, which puts it into words: ‘The knowledge of choice/The crackle of stillness/The signal to noise.’

The album’s sense of purpose means no gimmicks are required./o:p

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.