Jack Hues - Electro-Acoustic Works 20:20: "a truly heartfelt album"

Elegant protest album from the man who once implored us to have fun tonight

Jack Hues
(Image: © Press)

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After his double album, Primitif, effectively rekindled the Canterbury scene across its four sides, Wang Chung leader Jack Hues casts an incredulous eye over the events of the past 18 months and lays out what he’s seen.

Working with singer Baby N’Sola, opening track We Gotta Work Together underlines the main themes of Electro-Acoustic Works 20:20: hope for unity and reconciliation. It’s the album’s key song and an improvisation based around N’Sola’s ad-libs, with its middle section forming the basis of Hymn To The Moon Goddess – the meandering yet mesmeric four-part suite that occupies the album’s second half.

Elsewhere, there are some lovely sketches: Sheep takes the title of one of the most Roger Waters songs ever and makes it pure Syd Barrett; Slow Gyrs has that beautiful, floating ambience that made Hues’ cover of Beck’s Nobody’s Fault But My Own so special. He also continues his recreation of the Canterbury sound with We Don’t Go Out, which evokes Soft Machine’s We Did It Again.

A sensitive take on an increasingly well-worn subject, and retro in feel yet never pastiche, Electro-Acoustic Works 20:20 is a truly heartfelt album. 

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Daryl Easlea

Daryl Easlea has contributed to Prog since its first edition, and has written cover features on Pink Floyd, Genesis, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Gentle Giant. After 20 years in music retail, when Daryl worked full-time at Record Collector, his broad tastes and knowledge led to him being deemed a ‘generalist.’ DJ, compere, and consultant to record companies, his books explore prog, populist African-American music and pop eccentrics. Currently writing Whatever Happened To Slade?, Daryl broadcasts Easlea Like A Sunday Morning on Ship Full Of Bombs, can be seen on Channel 5 talking about pop and hosts the M Means Music podcast.