Signs of Life (Remastered 2008)
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Recorded at the Penguin Cafe between 1985 and 1987 with further overdubs and mixing at various 24 track studios, 'Signs of Life' finds Simon using the Prophet V synthesizer and the Omnichord to originate pieces and to accompany the usual litany of PCO instruments: cuatro, ukulele, piano, strings and percussion.
It also reflects Simon's respect for various forms of American music of the South in 'Bean Fileds', 'Southern Jukebox Music' and 'Dirt'.
The beautiful 'Perpetuum Mobile' was to become another PCO classic, much used by film makers and advertisers. But despite the increasingly polished pieces that Simon was writing, he was still inclined to write and record pieces such as 'Horns of the Bull', an eclectic romp for fretless classical guitar and ring modulator. With its brooding South American atmosphere, 'Oscar Tango' was to become a cornerstone of PCO performances.
'Signs of Life' marks the point where Simon considered himself, perhaps for the first time, to become a 'composer'.
Catalogue no: EEGCD 50 /0777 7 87450 2 0/ CAR1546 (US)
From Q Magazine 3/87
"PCO's music is neither precious nor inaccessible. Quite the opposite, these six newest pieces are ingeniously simple, implausibly varied, occasionally humorous and always warmly intimate despite the absence of any vocals.."
1. Bean fields
2. Southern jukebox music
3. Horns of the bull
4. Oscar tango
5. Snake and the lotus
8. Perpetuum mobile
9. Swing the cat