Andrew Chalk and Darren Tate are moved to quote Verlaine, out of context but not at all unreasonably, to describe Time Out Of Mind's unusual density and mood: “Shaded tints we desire, no colour only tints and hues. Nothing lovelier than a grey song, where uncertainty and precision meet.”
The music was recorded between 1986-1986, “on locations” and at Colin Potter’s ICR Studios in York. Potter also engineers, and his contribution feels tangible: there’s a crispness and definition to these recordings that often feels lacking, or deliberately absent, in the gorgeous numbed miasmic drift we associate with the principals’ subsequent solo work. And what music, a kind of bleakly beautiful rural-industrial, powerfully evoking the mud and damp and whipping wind of the North Yorkshire wilds, the stirrings of nameless dread in the sleepy villages and farmhouses that stud the Moors and Dales. At times it feels as if you’ve been drugged, blindfolded and kidnapped, and are now awake, hyper-alert, listening intently through the sackcloth that covers your head for any clue as to where your captors have taken you…birdsong, the creak of a rusted gate, storm-clouds gathering, a mumbled human voice. If that makes it sound like a nightmare, I’ve gone too far, because this record’s ultimate destination is (I think?!) a redemptive pastoral sublime, with astral synths that play across the music's surface like dawn light on dew.
Initially issued as a CD a couple of years ago by the Polish label Shining Day, this LP pressing on Timo van Luijk’s La Scie Doree reproduces the artwork and tracklist and feels definitive.