This is the feature
where we revisit bands or albums that are worthy of attention but may well
have been overlooked over the years we also signpost the definitive
CD versions and related albums worth investigating.
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Back in 1992, a pleasant pastoral piece drifted across the airwaves of BBC Radio 2, redolent of English spires, rolling countryside and Vaughan Williams on speed.
This was Ed Alleyne-Johnson's 'magnum opus' 'Purple Electric Violin Concerto'.
EA-J took a transparent purple violin and committed musical hari-kari on five strings, frequently against a ground bass, using any number of effects pedals.
If Hendrix had played violin this would have been the result.
The approach was somewhat unique in that there were no backing tapes, overdubs or remixing. Alleyne-Johnson built up multi-layered sounds using the ubiquitous digital delay whilst playing 'live'.
Alleyne-Johnson had previously worked with New Model Army and had gained something of a reputation for his impromptu street shows in his
hometown of Liverpool although he studied fine art at Oxford University. It is the city of dreaming spires that formed the inspiration for 'Purple Electric Violin Concerto'.
He never quite repeated the novelty of this album, although there was a follow-up in 'Ultraviolet' (1994). He also produced a couple of albums with his wife, Denyze,
which blended gothic rock, hippie mysticism and the classics.
A truly individual performer, Ed is frequently spotted turning heads in Chester which throbs to his ground bass. A new double album is due spring 2005.
Purple Electric Violin Concerto (Equation Records ECQD001, 1992)
skip: Oxford Suite
Purple Electric Violin Concerto 2(Wingspan Records WINGCD3)