I've read lots of mini reviews of Your Future Our Clutter and almost all have been very favourable. I've played it a bunch over the last few weeks and liked it more each time. I rated both RPTLC and IWS, and YFOC surpasses them both. Bravo, MES & Co.
The CD and LP (latter with two extra tracks, as noted below) are available for preorder on Domino and Domino USA.
There are some reviews on the forum, and I'll post the press reviews as they come in.
Over 34 years, Mark E Smith has led The Fall through numerous upheavals. Tim Cumming talks to the frontman as he prepares to release Your Future Our Clutter, an album that stands, miraculously, among the band's best
'Are you enjoying the Hilton experience?" cackles Mark E Smith, lead singer of post-punk legends The Fall when he finally appears in the bar of the Hilton in Holland Park, grinning like a wizened schoolboy. After 33 years fronting one of the most volatile groups in rock history, Smith is no stranger to controversy, coercion, violence or breakdown. But since the group's last major implosion in America in 2006 – followed by the emergency recruitment of West Coast musicians to finish the tour, record an album and play the last-ever concert at Hammersmith Palais – things have settled down in the Fall camp.
Perhaps it is part of the ageing process. Smith turned 50 in 2007, and the following year's Imperial Wax Solvent saw him "reflect" on that fact with "50 Year Old Man", the album's raging magnum opus. Since then, he has worked with the German electro duo Von Südenfed, read out the scores on Football Focus – as well as ghost stories
for BBC4 – and had a second spell in a wheelchair (the first came in 2004 after he collided with a lamp post at a rockabilly festival in Great Yarmouth). Most performers would take time off for a broken hip; not Smith. He booked into a studio in Castleford in West Riding and completed a UK tour with a line-up that has been stable for the best part of three years – not bad going for a group whose history is studded with more arrivals and departures than a budget carrier.
It wasn't always the case. At the end of the Nineties, many saw Smith and The Fall as a spent force. An infamous gig at Brownies in New York ended in on-stage fighting, band departure and brief incarceration for Smith – lovingly retold in the singer's hilarious, if ghosted 2008 memoir, Renegade.
The brilliantly catchy "Touch Sensitive" from 1999's comeback The Marshall Suite found its way on to a Vauxhall Corsa ad and set the course for one of the great career revivals in rock'n'roll. The Fall albums of the Noughties have consistently delivered, even on the tin-hatted mayhem of 2001's Are You Are Missing Winner, which sounded as if it had been recorded during a fight in the hold of a cargo ship. Gigs can be variable, with start-times edging perilously close to the night-bus schedule, but the current line-up has delivered some of the most bracing Fall performances in years.
The keyboard player Eleni Poulou, Smith's beautiful German-Greek wife of 10 years, is behind the disorientating lashes of synth and electronica that punctuate the band's recent music. "Mark's lyrics get a new dimension being layered over that sound, rather than over a regular song with normal song movements," she says.
Poulou's noise interventions are coupled with the guitar wizardry of Peter Greenway, a technician handy enough to make his open effects pedals, and the rhythm section of drummer Keiron Melling and bassist Dave Spurr, the two of them fusing like base metals in an alchemist's retort. "I know people have ideas about The Fall, preconceptions, but we're really friendly and there is only happiness," she says of the current band dynamic. Pretty far, then, from the tales of genius, paranoia and victimisation streaked through most journalistic accounts of the group, such as Dave Simpson's The Fallen, a book that set out to track down every former member of The Fall, and which became out of date between proofing and publication. An updated paperback edition recently appeared, and a Fallen documentary is being filmed for the BBC. "That'll be a scream, won't it?" remarks Smith later in the day with acid sarcasm. He's not a fan. "I can't read it really, and also he's taken advantage of a lot of them. It's like a dirty book I keep under the stairs, a porn book."
Stability, it seems, has come to the house of The Fall. "There's three parts of the group," Smith tells me. "There's me, there's the lads, and there's Eleni and me. That's the beauty of the mix. I think this is the best line-up I've ever had, really, touch wood."
Your Future Our Clutter is the band's first album for indie behemoths Domino Records, and it's a return to peak powers. The music sounds sharper in its depth of production and Smith's attention to detail. Whether it be wildly different sounds layered in a song, or lyrical fragments that linger in the mind, its strength harks back to the group's seminal 1980s albums, Hex Enduction Hour or The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, the latter due to be re-released in a boxed, four-disc remastered edition by the label Beggars Banquet later this year.
Clocking in at around 50 minutes, there is no filler, no drift. Smith and group sound in control of their material, bristling with furious intent and brilliant imagery. The songs build like cubist sound sculptures and the sound palette ranges from saturated home taping to stereophonic bliss, with Smith delivering fractured poetry that makes haikus sound indulgent. The lyrics are as cryptic as ever, but they haven't sounded this clear in years.
If phantom equity is one key to the album, the other is Smith's recent health issues, with references to medication, incarceration and mortality scattered throughout the set. It's there in the spaghetti-Western gallop of "Cowboy George", a song that enters a vortex halfway through and re-emerges transformed into tranquilised, psychedelic splashes of synth oscillating over Smith's ominous mantra of "unseen forces, unseen facts, unseen footage". It's this song that is, perhaps, the core of the Clutter experience. "It is a bit mystical that one, yeah," agrees Smith. "I don't even know what I'm saying really, because I'm still on medication from the wheelchair."
With more than three decades, dozens of albums and thousands of gigs behind him, you wonder if Smith fears the latest Fall sound being drowned out by the old. Will the reissues interfere with what he's doing now? "No, not at all.There is a lot of interest there, very much, from young kids." He leans forward conspiratorially. "I haven't been in touch with them [Beggars] since 1990. They're saying, 'We didn't understand what we had at the time.' Like, join the club – neither did anyone else." He leans back, shaking with laughter.
'Your Future Our Clutter' is released on 26 April (Domino Records). The Fall tour the UK from 24 April
added 31 March
Tony Herrington played Weather Report 2 off the new LP on his Reformation radio show. You can stream/download here; The Fall at around 1h07m.
added 19 March
Domino are releasing a Fall 7" on 17 April to coincide with Record Store Day: Bury Pts 2+4 b/w Cowboy Gregorie. They played Bury Pts 2+4 on Steve Lamacq's Roundtable (starts @ 41m20s) yesterday and it sounds to me very similar to the album version (Bury Pts 1+3) with most of the intro removed.
The Fall are set to release a new album, Your Future Our Clutter on Domino Records in late April, so that gives a time frame for the Omnibus Editions of The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall and This Nation’s Saving Grace – August / September feels about right.
The mastering of TWAFWOTF continues apace and we finally have the session and live material that’s licensed in from radio stations.
An interesting contrast between the BBC who short-sightedly transferred their tape archive onto digital, so can only provide copy masters at CD quality and the Dutch station VPRO who still have their original analogue tapes so can supply high resolution 24bit / 96khz transfers which sound so much better. Not only that, they also kept tapes of the whole show and not just what was broadcast at the time. VPRO…2 BBC…0
So for Fall fans, here’s an exclusive peek at the track listing (provided it all fits onto the discs).
CD1 The Wonderful And Frightening World of The Fall
Lay Of The Land
2 By 4
Disney’s Dream Debased
CD2 Singles / Rough Mixes
Pat – Trip Dispenser
New Fiend (2 By 4)
No Bulbs 3
Slang King 2
Lay Of The Land (Rough Mix)
Pat – Trip Dispenser (Rough Mix)
New Fiend (Rough Mix)
Slang King (Edits Version 1)
CD3 BBC Sessions
Creep (BBC Peel session)
Pat – Trip Dispenser (BBC Peel session)
2 By 4 (BBC Peel session)
Words Of Expectation (BBC Peel session)
God Box (BBC Jensen session)
Lay Of The Land (BBC Jensen session)
Oh Brother (BBC Jensen session)
Creep (BBC Jensen session)
No Bulbs (BBC Long session)
Draygo’s Guilt (BBC Long session)
Stephen Song (BBC Long session)
Slang King (BBC Long session)
Copped It (BBC Saturday Live)
Elves (BBC Saturday Live)
Fortress / Marquis Cha Cha (BBC Saturday Live)
CD4 Live at Pandora’s Music Box Festival – VPRO Radio
Lay Of The Land
2 By 4
Pat – Trip Dispenser
added 8 March
Domino says the 2xLP edition of Your Future Our Clutter will contain two bonus tracks: "986 Generator" and "Get A Summer Song Goin'." It's available for pre-order on their site.
added 1 March
Another Fall-related interview on the Quietus site, this time with Gavin Friday on his Fall collaboration and postcard & book exchange with MES.
added 1 March
Here's a stream of the Gorillaz album, "Plastic Beach," courtesy National Public Radio. Glitter Freeze starts at around 23m50s. It's not up too much.
added 18 Feburary; updated 1 March
update: YFOC promo copies have been sent to reviewers and one or two other fortunates. My verdict: it's one of the better Fall albums since the Hanley years and also the most cohesive. Very good indeed.
Domino is incredibly proud to announce that it will be releasing the new album from The Fall. Recorded at various studios in the north of England over the past year, Your Future Our Clutter is Mark E Smith and co’s debut for Domino and will be released on 26th April 2010.
Your Future Our Clutter is The Fall at their most rampant, most forward moving, bone shaking best. With nine tracks that rock like raw fury, we see The Fall heading into their next decade with the same intensity with which they started.
Your Future Our Clutter will be available on double LP (WIGLP245), CD (WIGCD245) & digital download (WIG245D) from 26th April. Full album tracklisting is as follows:
The Fall will be playing live across the UK this spring with a show at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on May 7th. Full dates are as follows:
24 April - Studio 24, Edinburgh, UK
29 April - Tripod, Dublin, Ireland
May 2 - Ballroom, Keele Uni, UK
May 4 - Rock City, Nottingham, UK
May 7 - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK
May 8 - Palace, Aldershot, UK
May 9 - Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
May 16 - ATP, Minehead, UK
May 21 - Balne Lane Working Mens Club, Wakefield, UK
The Fall are:
Peter "PP" Greenway - Guitars
Dave "The Eagle" Spurr - Bass Guitar
Eleni Poulou - Keyboards, Bass, Backing vocals
Keiron Melling - Drums, PCSN
Mark E. Smith - Lead Vocals
added 18 Feburary
The Quietus has posted the second part of their 2007 interview with MES; it's about Hex Enduction Hour.
added 13 Feburary
Friday, 12 February Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin, Germany
? (Our Future - Your Clutter) / Sloppy Floor / Funnel of Love / Over! Over! / I'm Not from Bury / Chino Splashback / Hot Cake / Scenario / Cowboy 1 / Cowboy 2 / Psykick Dancehall / Mexico (Ed Blaney vocals) / Reformation / White Lightning / Mr. Pharmacist
Reviews and photos on the forum. Thanks to Mark H for the set and Mexico on youtube.
added 10 Feburary
Ed Blaney is hoping to organize a Salford Music Festival in Buile Hill Park in September. More in the Salford Advertiser.
added 27 January
Friday the 5th through Sunday the 7th of February marks the First International Great Fall Album Listening Party. FIGFALP. Here's the itinerary:
There's a thread about it on the forum. And If you're in the L.A. area, there's a listening party in Sunset Junction, Silver Lake. RSVP on Facebook. There will probably be some live Twittering, too. #figfalp?
The tapes have been transferred, licenses to issue radio session material applied for, no objections from Mark E. Smith, so we’re almost ready to announce a track listing. The releases won’t come out before the new Fall album on Domino but ‘Wonderful And Frightening’ will be a 4 CD set and ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’ expanded into a 3 disc set.
added 21 January
Issue 8 of Reformation Post TPM is online and it's a good one, particularly the pieces by/with Paul Hanley and Mike Leigh and the article on Berlin by Robert Meißner. I do wish they didn't use white text on black...
‘Close Up’ is a series of exclusive opportunities to get up close and personal with musicians, poets, artists and actors discussing their life and work; all in-conversation with DJ/writer Dave Haslam.
The ‘Close Up’ guest on Saturday March 20th 2010 is Mark E Smith, the legendary leader of the Fall.
Nicola Probert's Sound and Vision— a programme of short films examining the interaction between art and music — screened at the Tate Modern last Friday (15 January) and should be posted on the Tate Channel site soon. One of the films includes Mark E. Smith.
added 18 January; updated 20 January
Rumoured tracklisting for the next Gorillaz album, due out in March, includes Pirate Ship with M.E.S. and Ghostigital's Einar Örn Benediktsson. More on Drowned in Sound.
20 Jan update: here's what appears to be the confirmed tracklist:
1. Orchestral Intro
2. Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach (feat. Snoop Dogg)
3. White Flag (feat. Kano & Bashy)
4. Rhinestone Eyes
5. Stylo (feat. Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
6. Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
7. Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
8. Glitter Freeze (feat. Mark E Smith)
9. Some Kind Of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)
10. On Melancholy Hill
12. Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13. Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
14. To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)
15. Cloud Of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack)
16. Pirate Jet
added 16 January
MES and Marc Riley interviewed in 1982 in Australia. Rivetting and excruciating.
added 16 January
Martin Bramah and Mike Leigh on the same stage for the first time since April 1979!
Factory Star & The Pearl Divers
Saturday, 23 January, 8pm Northern Lawn Tennis Club, Palatine Road, West Didsbury, Manchester
30dec'09 Oct-Nov UK tour +Berlin +Milan; Slippy Floor single; Paintwork #3; Elena int. in La Bouche, Martin Bramah int.; Your Future - Our Clutter announced and delayed; HudLit transcript; Beggars archive update; Fallnet Xmas; Frances Stark; 100 Fall albums; Radio 4 Pick-ups; Factory Star; Pearl Divers (Mike Leigh).
29sep'09 Summer UK/Euro gigs; Factory Star; The Fallen twitter; another Smith/Blaney cd; Huddersfield Q&A; Beggars reissues; Greenwich Sound radio 1983; 1982 photos; Alan Wise; Chris Knox; Palais DVD; Jeffrey Lewis interview.
19may'09 Annual MES Missive; London, Glasgow, Cambridge gig reviews; Domino press release; Paintwork#2 exhibition + photos; Observer int; Nazi cattle; John Robb MCR book; Safi interview; Globo; Monks screenings.
04mar'09 Fall / MES+Blaney gigs; Paintwork#2; Broken Hip#2; Derby punk book excerpt; Huddersfield Lit comp.; Monks DVD; Gene Vincent radio; Lux Interior, Ron Asheton, r.i.p.; Fall rehearsal video; Dick Witts lecture; DNA's "Misery".
30nov'08vII - 2nd lyrics book; David Luff, r.i.p.; UK tour + 3 Euro gigs; The Fallen press; Smith & Blaney album; 2 Smith ints.; David "Bumble" Lloyd; Shiftwork & Holidays on DVD; Unutterable 2CD reissue; 2008 Fall Albums League results; Martin Bramah solo; Marcia Schofield's Private Passions; Orpheo on tour; Adam Buxton's Mojo promo; Globo
07aug'08 UK gigs and Euro festival reviews; Renegade & IWS reviews; MES Q&As; The Story of the Fall; Mojo Maverick award and auction; MES/ Blaney project; Bo Diddley RIP; Annual Bulletin from the Desk of MES; Scotland on Sunday, MCR Evening News, and BBCR4 Front Row interviews; WPRB review of 4/4/98 gig; Bard of Salford documentary; Maxwell Hall debacle
27apr'08 March UK tour / Renegade excerpts / The Fallen book / Imperial Wax Solvent / Squirrelgate / Daily Telegraph, MusicOMH, Uncut, Word interviews / Hex on Radio 4 / Blaney on Voiceprint deal / Messing up the Paintwork programme & abstracts / Fall news feed
21jan'08 VS / Fall gig reviews, Vice TV's "Soft Focus" int., Messing up the Paintwork conference, message from MES, MES reads Lovecraft, "Latch Key Kid", Suzanne Smith & Claus Castenskiold prints for sale, Flying Nun documentary, Dave Day r.i.p., Renegade preview, MES on BBC radio sitcom "Start", Unofficial Fall site now The Fall Online
16oct'07 Fall / Von Südenfed gig reviews, Zone / Jungle World / Chord / Taz interviews (mainly VS-related), Independent Q&A, Fall Box Set reviews, Hammersmith Palais DVD, Mick Middles' Complete Guide, Wyndham Lewis, myspace MES imposter, Fall Cup 2007, Derek Erdman Fall nights, Intermittent Signal (Simon W.), MES fabric doll.
3jul'07 Newsnight Review int., Independent Q&A, Barcelona gig, Von Sudenfed reviews & interviews, Fall box set, Julia Adamson, Hurdy Gurdy Man video, Word of Mouth, John Leckie TapeOp int., Reformation video, Ideal TV clip, Record Collector / Manchester Confidential / Harp Magazine ints., Lee on I'm Into CB, official site problems, Foggy Notions letters, PBL fiction collection.
12apr'07 UK tour, RPTLC reviews, Narnack edition, Reformation single, Von Sudenfed, MES's 50th, Uncut Q&A, Foggy Notions / Telegraph / Liberation / Rock & Folk interviews, Renegade delayed, Saturn 5, Universal reissues, Culture Show / Transmission TV spots.
22feb'07 RPTLC UK released, Malaga gig, MES interviews: Independent, Welt am Sonntag, Stool Pigeon, The Times, Fantastic Man; Johnny Vegas' Ideal preview, Memorex of the Krakens, Anjulireeves on youtube, Packing a Gun, 7 Wives of MES, Saturn 5, Grayson Perry, Brix's "Star," Frank Sidebottom.
30dec'06 Reformation Post TLC announcements, NYC & Strangeways gigs, Julia Adamson photos, Dave Milner songs, Gusgus Not Clean remix, Fall forum crash, Sonic Arts Network cd, PBL book, Mitsubishi Blindness, Monks live session, MES on Dylan.
30oct'06 Silver Monk Time & Monks gigs, Oct. UK & Ireland gig reviews, Ben Pritchard interview, "Renegade: The Gospel According to MES," MES DJ set on Radio 1, Environmental Health News, Stewart Lee in Sunday Times.
21sep'06 Simonfb, r.i.p., Bournemouth & London gigs / UK festivals, Silver Monk Time, Sunday Herald & Maximum RnR interviews, Julia Nagle's latest projects, another Peel tribute CD.
17aug'06 Brooklyn Vegan / Arena Homme Plus interviews, Oya Festival, Tesla-K, The Blimp, Tycoons Follies, Artrocker review, Tony Friel archive, PBL book update, KFNY poster, Billboard, more Voiceprint CDs.
13jun'06 US tour (second leg), more US press (NYT, The Pitch, SLC Weekly, Stop Smiling), Manchester gig (inc. MEN preview & FT review), What Sven Could Learn from Me (Guardian int. from last year)
23may'06 US tour (first leg), US press (LA Alternative, LA City Beat, SF Chronicle, OC Weekly), Smog Monsters, Morley on MCR/L'pool
1may'06 Berlin gig, Reclaimers' footy song, MES "In Their Own Write", Praxis Hagen exhibit.
6apr'06 UK tour, Greek/ Swiss gigs, "The Two-Year Gap" announcement, John Peel Fall intros/ outros mp3, Wire's Fall Primer, Q's Manchester special, Monks Beat Club clips, Fallnet's "Dr. Buck's Letters", Fall album survey results, Nikki Sudden / Ivor Cutler r.i.p., Brix's new house, cult musicians, Gavin Esler.
21feb'06 Official Fall site now Unofficial, Guardian ex-Fall members article, Mojo interview and poll results, IS, IAH, MCR & CC remaster details, Mixing It session, Antwerp & Wigan gigs, Ding's two new bands, Ghostigital, New Year's Honours, fashion corner: Brix interview & Lagerfeld show, Blue Orchids new album, history of Salford bands.
3jan'06 Word MES interview, ticket refund information, Festive 50, misc. year-end press roundups and Fall forum poll results, preview of Guardian's ex-Fall members article, MES lego minifig, Armitage Shanks & Necropolis Fall-related songs, Ghostigital's "Not Clean" & "Codomatopoeia," Corsa ad back on TV, John Peel's Record Box.
8nov'06 Fall Heads Roll reviews, UK tour, Incendiary, Rock Sound & Pitchfork interviews, PBL book preview, Commercially Unfriendly cd.
30sep'05 Fall Heads Roll details, MES to read footy scores, Peel tribute CDs, ChronicArt preview, Blast Off DVD sampler, Frank Skinner, Jacob's Cream Crackers, Stewart Lee, Deisel-U-Matic award.
18aug'05 Paul Hanley BBC radio int., MES Metro "60-second" & Kitchen Sink ints., 1979 Jamming! int., Deisel U Matic award, Paul Wilson's Fall Mix, Stewart Lee's favorite things.
26jul'05 Berlin & Paris gigs, Fall site news, Diesel-U-Music & Mojo awards, Live from the Vaults: the "real" story, Sanctuary / Slogan Records announcement, Mayo Thompson, Commercially Unfriendly CD, links to loads of Peel box reviews.
14jun'05 UK & Lyon gigs, Conway's guitar tab and Adult Net pages, Jools Holland, Deeply Vale cd, MES int. w/BBC on Peel, Lime Lizard 1993, Festive 50 book, Live from the Vaults delayed, Wake Up in the City, Cuz'n Roy's yard sale on ebay, Jahn Rhondos.
27apr'05 UK gigs, Left of the Dial & Scotland on Sunday interviews, Deeply Vale CD preview, Bingo Masters press release, Scherzo Schist, Live from the Vaults, Simon Reynolds, Simon Armitage, Prenzlauer Berg, Fall Cafe, Poloraoids special offer, Brix & Gromit, MES on Funhouse, Fall documentary transcript, the Fall wants your photo.
25feb'05 BBC4 Fall doc, Hex reissue, KFNY gig, Fall Forum's TNSG, Ice Magazine (UK) MES int., Sun Zoom Spark articles, Playlouder appreciation, unofficial Sparta FC video, Peel set postponed 1 month, MES's New Years Honours list, 9may81 photos, Hunter S. Thompson, RIP.
7jan'05 Jim Watts resigns, UK gigs, Pseud Mag, Festive 50, Deeply Vale, documentary, City Bar "fall-out", Polaroids on the Fall, Wipe That Sound, Narnack sampler.