composer/musician/ZTT artist


Andrew Poppy


reviews November 2012

Book’s Music/Louise Grey/ReGen/The Wire/

Flip Side Magazine

Incendiary Magazine/Blitz Beats/

THIS IS BOOK’S MUSIC preview by John Book

The first time I heard of Andrew Poppy was in the mid-1980′s, when I was absorbing and collecting anything and everything that was Zang Tuum Tumb. Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Art Of Noise, Propaganda, das psych oh rangers, Anne Pigalle, all of it. Then came The Beating Of Wings (or The Cheating Of Things or The Seating Of Kings, depending on how you looked at the album cover equation). At the same time I was becoming more familiar with Frank Zappa’s works and that was the closest thing I had to classical music stepping out of the classical norm. This was adventurous and while I had no idea at the time what to call it, I found myself loving it. “32 Frames For Orchestra” seemed to be a piece that could go on and on, the mixture of 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures in “Listening In” was incredible, and “Cadenza” was brilliant as it seemed to be focused on a musical phrase that would slowly peel itself until it placed a focus on a singular note. Over time I found myself liking certain styles of music for different music, be it jazz, progressive rock, or hip-hop, and would later discover that the drones I admired and what some would call monotonous was called minimalism. When I started exploring the music of Terry Riley, I got into his composition “In C”, which lead to me discovering that Poppy’s “Cadenza” was in honor of Riley and “In C”. It made me appreciate The Beating Of Wings and his other works even more.

Poppy will be releasing an album on the 27th of November called Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling (Field Radio), and for this he has collaborated with Claudia Brücken, James Gilchrist, Guillermo Rozenthuler, Margaret Cameron, Lula Pena and Bernardo Devlin, which means the album is a mixture of music and voices, and before the album is released, Poppy will be doing a three-night stand at the Jackson Lane Theatre in London from November 8-10th, highlighting the new release.


Jocelyn Pook and Andrew Poppy: post-post-minimalism

It’s no news that the boundaries surrounding musical traditions have always been porous so it’s still surprising when composers who’ve come out of classical training schools – Jocelyn Pook or Andrew Poppy, to take the two examples at hand – generate headlines for being anything other than “purely” classical musicians. Composers listen to music – and the speed of modern communication means that the flow of imaginative information between genres is rapid  – even if the charts and genres themselves can’t keep up with changes. (Witness the way Pook’s mid-1990s album, Deluge, was judged by some crazy chart maker to be neither classical or contemporary.)

Pook and Poppy are both composers who’ve worked widely in music. All types of music, all types of theatre, all types of ensembles. (Pook’s Electra Strings and Poppy’s Lost Jockey have left a lasting legacy.) They are also both musicians au fait with the augmented instrumentation that digital technology offers. Poppy’s latest album/performance work Shiny Floor, Shiny Ceiling is a song cycle of sorts, featuring (among others) his former ZTT colleague Claudia Brücken, lyric tenor James Gilchrist and mezzo Margaret Cameron. What Poppy calls an “opera entertainment” for voices, a dancer and master of ceremonies (the composer himself) is a confident exploration of both staging and performance. Scored for strings, keyboards and guitars, Poppy’s intimate and indefinably scary cabaret songs have a strong presence, none more so than on the title song, with its rising panic so skillfully voiced by Gilchrist.

ReGen Magazine review by

A prolific and underexposed minimalist composer since the early ‘80s, Andrew Poppy has worked with a wide range of artists over the years, from the proto-industrial abstraction of Coil and Psychic TV to the more rhythmic fare of Nitzer Ebb and Erasure to the more alternative styles of The The and Strawberry Switchblade. With Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling, Poppy brings in a full range of his abilities in avant-garde classical and jazzy electronic experimentation with a complement of collaborators to achieve an album as soothingly mellow as it is expansively cinematic. With “12 Thoughts on the Language of Others” beginning the album with a light rhythmic pulse that gradually rises to a subdued intensity as Poppy recites repeating stanzas in his distinguished Kent accent, the album begins in a delightful yet morose tone that immediately brings to mind the multimedia performance art of Mirror or David Lynch. Similarly, Poppy’s sharp-tongued spoken passages on “Do the Flip” and “If I Could Copy You” bear the poetic impressions of laments on modern socio/technological concerns akin to Kenji Siratori. The trend continues as Claudia Brücken’s saccharine voice lends an air of simultaneous melancholy and accessibility to “Dark Spell,” while the twin pieces of “Persephone Calls” and “Persephone Scream Dream” evoke an operatic ghostliness that is as much lyrical tone poem as it is conceptual art piece. James Gilchrest’s dynamic voice, often beginning as a low croon in the vein of David Bowie or Chris Connelly and then ascending to the higher flutters befitting an accomplished classical vocalist, carries tracks like “Singing into the Air” and the title track into a blissfully melodic and serene space between pop pleasantness and artful introspection, backed by twinkling pianos and swells of strings, while Bernardo Devlin’s gritty, slightly quivery baritone occasionally transforming into a distorted rasp on “Knackers” adds to the sparse piano and drum backdrop, evoking the vast emptiness of a desert landscape. The instrumentals across Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling keep with Poppy’s traditionally minimalist style, very rarely deviating from a simple path of looped beats, bass pulses, and waves of orchestral ambience to create an effect both subtle and sublime and making the album very vocally driven. Consistently soothing and lyrically provocative throughout, Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is hardly a revelatory album as much as it is another solid entry in Andrew Poppy’s diverse discography, sure to provide for many repeated listens.

WIRE review by Julian Cowley

During the early 1980’s Andrew Poppy was a member of The Lost Jockey, an ensemble surfing their won youthful enthusiasm for Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Then Alphabed ( 1987), Poppy’s second solo release on ZTT, disclosed an interest in writing text and setting distinctive voices, with a memorable contribution from Annette Peacock. He later contributed arrangements to Psychic TV’s debut album Force The Hand of Chance. In 2012 Poppy is still working the song writing furrow, with decidedly mixed results and nothing to rival Peacock’s seductiveness. His own voice , on the opening and closing tracks is engagingly personal, its ordinariness rounding out and warming through the artifice of the text. Other voices - Claudia Brucken, classical tenor James Gilchrist, fado singer Lula Pena - are more polished, but they leave Poppy’s songs sounding unexceptional, kitsch and ponderously produced.

FLIP SIDE review by

ZTT's minimalist titan explores the power of voice with unsettling but engaging results 7/10

Tiresome though it may seem to Andrew Poppy, the spectre of his '80s past will continue to follow him around for the purposes of review, including frequent references to the label he was signed to during the middle of that particular decade. Without the associations of ZTT, it could be argued that Poppy may have slipped through the critical net, dipped under art's radar or, at the very least, be resigned to sound-tracking art-installations in Berlin, say, or merely becoming a name on Wikipedia, an entry to be gleaned at random. 

It's to his credit, therefore, that he's kept his name in the modern classical mix by creating fascinating music for the last three decades without compromising on quality ('selling out'). Sure, he's kept in creative touch with one or two associates from previous recordings and he's done the same here. Claudia Brucken, with whom he collaborated with on the excellent piano-based covers album Another Language, appears on this album's most accessible track, Dark Spell, while OMD's Paul Humphreys has mixed the entire project, just as he did on the aforementioned collaboration with the ex-Propaganda singer.

Her voice, Humphrey's deft twiddling and Poppy's ear for the unconventional, makes for a perfect combination - and 'combinations' is what Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is about, the melding of voice and minimal neo-classical symphonies, given a twist with glitchy laptop beats and utterances. Also the name of an accompanying live show, Shiny Floor is a collection of new songs, narrations and litanies that encompass various genres such as electronica, classical, systems-music and opera, without it all sounding like a cacophony. Be warned though - this isn't pop.

Aside from Brucken, mezzo-soprano Margaret Cameron re-unites with Poppy on Persephone Calls and Persephone Scream Dream, while esteemed tenor James Gilchrist lends his experienced intonations to the title track and Singing Into The Air. Perhaps the album's most emotional and intimate piece is Knackers Yard Blues, a flailing fuzzy lumbering beast sung by Bernardo Devlin of ultra-artsy Portugese outfit Osso Exotico. To me, he sounds like Winston Tong (of Tuxedomoon) and while not the album's strong-point, you get the impression that the character Henry Fortune has had his day and is heading for certain capitulation.

Poppy himself appears on the book-ending spoken-word passages, as well as the percussive If I Could Copy You, providing a narration that is by turns expressive, breathless and, perhaps, the most meaningful prose you've ever heard or the most unnerving and pointless. Last track, Do The Flip, rattles out soundbites like explosive mini-headlines - 'afternoon shadow into midnight chime', 'best boy into screen idol', 'wet gash into swollen clit' - before climaxing under a barrage of head-melting percussion that wouldn't sound out of place on one of Poppy's ZTT albums, Alphabed. 

Overall, Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is at best entertaining, enlightening and enthralling, at worst (which isn't too often) irritating, irrational and irksome. As always with any Andrew Poppy release, his take on composition demands repeated listening. And with this umpteenth studio assemblage, I advise pouring a tall one, turning off the lights and soaking up the atmosphere. Failing that, head to Jackson's Lane in East London for any one of the three confirmed live renditions of the album planned for November 2012 (8th, 9th, 10th).

For further information on Andrew Poppy head to his website here 

INCENDIARY MAGAZINE review by Richard Foster

At times listening to tracks like this one, I really, really wish Billy Mackenzie was still about – he really would have lent tone to proceedings.

A marvellous if at times annoying and perplexing record. Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is not a work that can be ignored, just despite its essentially quiet reflective nature. I think that’s got something to do with the off-beat, inquisitive nature of the lyrics and observations. The opener Thoughts on The Language of Others (as well as the later track If I Could Copy You), demands that you get lost in its own world – for a while I just couldn’t get past the opening track such is its hypnotic charm.

As I said it’s a perplexing record and you see that with the second track, Dark Spell, which can throw you in that it’s a standard torch song with a slightly queasy, uneasy soul side to it. I think it’s Claudia Brücken singing, (it sounds like her), but I thought that when hearing it for the first time on my headphones without recourse to any notes that the download had been somehow overwritten with some MOR. It’s not bad at all on repeated listen, in fact it’s a very strong track - a bit like Wild and Lonely by The Associates - but after the opener and what follows, a complete volte face.

Normal service of sorts is resumed with the title track: a nervous and increasingly frantic reflection on an environment, it’s a mix of light opera and a keyboard riff that could be something by Klaus Schultze. It’s not a shy and retiring piece this, I can tell you. The following two tracks are quiet -Persephone Calls is just that, I mean, literally just that - whilst Dance With Me is a sort of cod-inter war ballad, with its cold synth stabs and declamatory singing, it’s the sort of thing that was popular amongst New Romantic acts, way back in the early 80’s.

Luckily, and in keeping with a lot on Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling the song is that touch batty – you don’t get the feeling it’s taking itself that seriously, which is a saving grace. Unravelling is another cut of sinister camp; a gloopy, trippy, cine noir piece, the spectral (and treated?) vocals sound very sinister indeed. It’s all a bit Bride of Dracula at times. The dreamy vibe is carried on with the Singing Into The Air; a slow paced soliloquy which is carried gently by some dewy keys and subtle strings. At times listening to tracks like this one, I really, really wish Billy Mackenzie was still about – he really would have lent tone to proceedings. Knacker’s Yard Blues sounds like some lost (and slightly “Cabaret” take on Tupelo-era Nick Cave), and last track, Do The Flip is another enchanting list of visual images over a subtle backing. An enchanting, diverting listen, that’s for sure. It’s actually a great, great record.


Bodystyler Interview Andrew Poppy

Disorientation in the war zone of perception

Desorientierung im Kriegsgebiet der Wahrnehmung

‘Melody is an empty chair... ‘ Andrew Poppy sits between all chairs, it shall shifted and replaced boundaries. His furious work includes concert music, operas and scores for philharmonic, dance theater, film and tv. At the same time he arranged & produced Post-Industrial, EBM, Rock, Indie and Synthpop bands. This raises inevitably questions, not only about his new album ...


‘Perhaps it's a bit early… ‘But we always wanted to know if you are also responsible for the arrangement of the bonus record "Themes" that came with the Psychic TV debut "Force The Hand Of Chance"? Under what influence can anyone write scores for human bones, head hunters flutes, temple and cow bells?

Andrew Poppy: 

I remember that I used some percussion called Temple Blocks on DREAMS LESS SWEET and Gen and Sleazy were very taken with them because they were skull shaped and black. I think there are Buddhist rituals that use wind instruments made of bones. Human or other wise. In ‘Circle’ I used a tenor recorder which when overblown has some strange harmonics. Its possible that piece could be played on a thigh bone wind instrument.

Bodystyler: Thank you, and first of all congratulations on your new Masterpiece. Is the impression deceiving or is  „Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling“ de facto a very personal album? It is like a thoughtfully gloomy Fluxus, which addresses both the different musical stations of your life, as well the content suggests your manifold inspirations. Oh, and "The Wave" as a reminder of your teenage days with the "Short Waves" by Stockhausen?

Andrew Poppy:

Thank you. It probably does appear personal. It is. But it always is really. I think that perhaps because there is so much language it changes things. It brings the personal things to the surface. My last project was a series of piano pieces INFERNAL FURNITURE They are personal in maybe a more indefinable way.

Yes the wave is the short wave radios of Cage and Stockhausen for sure. Both very important figures in my life. The wave is the sound wave and the wave hello, wave goodbye. And the waves of the ocean from which Persephone calls.


‘Just a single note does something…From "The Subject Is Of No Object" became "The Beating Of Wings" and from "32 Frames For Orchestra" a prosperous 12" single with drums. Was the title "Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling" this time clear from the beginning, and how does the agile "If I Could Copy You" sound when it is performed by the Lambeth Wind Orchestra at London's All Saints Church?

Andrew Poppy:

SHINY FLOOR SHINY CEILING was the title for along time. It was a theme that I was working with. It’s something about disorientation. Physical disorientation when looking up at the stars perhaps. I didn’t write the pieces to fit the theme but somehow they all gathered around it.

Some times a creative idea splits and goes in two different directions. So there are two completely different pieces with the name If I Could Copy You. In fact I may have to rename the orchestral piece. Its getting confusing!! They started from the same kernel, at the same tempo that’s for sure but then something happened. Different implications from the same moment demanded to be satisfied. The title comes from a reading of Renie Girard’s ideas about mimetic desire. These ideas may be more explicit in If I could Copy You which has lyrics and is part of Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling’s song cycle. But Im going to release a version of the other piece soon. In a kind of ‘SHINY: alternative and deleted scenes EP’.

I’m hoping that sometime in the future I can do If I COULD COPY YOU live with the String Orchestra of Fabrica. That would be wild.


Paul Morley once said, you were the obsessive hermit at the legendary label ZTT. Is that true, prefer you indeed to work alone or it is your kind of repetition with familiar people such as the performer Julia Bardsley, Claudia Brücken or Margaret Cameron, who was 17 years ago already at "Ophelia"?

Andrew Poppy: Well, I work at the desk and at the piano with pencil and paper. Then later I work in my studio. Sometimes I work directly with Protools but I still value the pencil and paper approach. I’m happy to be a hermit a lot of the time but also I really like working with other people. I’ve always worked in the theatre as a parallel to making records. And I think of musical performance as a kind of theatre. The Beating of Wings has lots of people on it. Probably more than most ZTT records at that time. With SHINY its been great to work with Margaret Cameron again and Claudia of course. But also brilliant to make new friends: James Gilchrist and Guillermo Rosenthuler.

Bodystyler: ’Do great songs need to be sung…’ Definitely that. And because Paul Humphreys is not in proximity, please tell us how you manage to make Claudia Brücken reach her limits and outdo herself again and again?

Andrew Poppy:

I think you must be referring to ‘Another Language’ the album Claudia and I made together a while back. I really like to find a challenge with each project. On that album I wanted to choose songs that I could make into voice and piano tracks or voice and guitar pieces. The model was something like the classical Leider tradition where the accompaniment has a kind of independence. So its like a duet perhaps. So the Schubert song is the key to that album.

On SHINY I didn’t have any idea about who would sing each piece until quite late. So I write all the music for myself as it were. And sing all the vocal lines. It became clear that Claudia would be great for Dark Spell. I think she’s an amazing vocal personality. She really understands the recording process. Like a great actor who knows how the camera looks at things.

Its been great that Paul Humphreys has had time to mix SHINY. Good to be in the studio with him again. And we’ve been talking about making something together at some point in the future.


In search of cheap wine, Britons discovered Portugal hundreds of years ago. What exactly attracts you to this country? After Vitor Gonçalves you've now worked with Lula Pena, Bernardo Devlin and even recorded in the Atelier Real in Lisbon ...

Andrew Poppy:

The Portuguese are very welcoming people. And it’s a beautiful country. The California of Europe! I’ve had friends there since the 80s. About 5 years ago Bernardo Devlin and I made an album together which I recorded and produced. And we did a couple of gigs in Lisbon. The record company messed us about and the project got lost. It happens. But Bernardo is a fantastic artist. No question. Originally Annette Peacock was going to sing ‘Unraveling’. We’ve kept in touch since she worked on ‘Goodbye Mr G’ in 1987 . But it didn’t work out with her schedule and so I asked Lula Pena. Who I didn’t know personally, but always loved her sound since I first heard her about 10 years ago.  I sent her the song and then went to Lisbon to record with her. I think it’s a wonderful addition to the album.


‘Princess into martyr, choir girl into hip rock chick…’ The subtitle of your album promises inter alia seven voices in search of a song. Would it not rather be one composer in search of the seven vocal gamut and timbres which fit into his songs like natural instruments?

Andrew Poppy: Yes that’s right. Each voice brings a particular history and culture. Bernardo and Lula are Portuguese. Claudia is German and Guillermo is Argentinean. The three British voices are all very different in their implications. Just a simple spoken word has memory imbedded in its performance and I’m interested in that.

I’m also finding a place for my ‘voice’. A song is like a mask both for the composer and for the singer. But in different ways. The singer is searching for the centre of the song to possess it. The audience hear/see the character, the mask, they identify with it or not. The experience of composing and performing and listening are all different. And what is happening here is I’m finding a way to move between two worlds: the hermit writer and the public performer.


You've always worked with and for exciting and renowned labels, one being your own Bitter and Twisted Records / B TRAP. Why now FIELD RADIO Recordings, what are you doing differently?

Andrew Poppy: With the label Bitter and Twisted I wanted the name to be ironic. The releases are very classical. Piano and violin music and string quartets. But I also wanted to say something about the way that anger gets rationalized and neutralized. Perhaps it should have been called Bitter and Twisted HA HA HA!  Recently I thought that I wanted to have a more positive image. And radio was always important and I like the one to one thing. And we always seem to be in some kind of war zone! And I’m happiest in a field situation!! When I was a kid I wanted to be a radio ham. To be a broadcaster. To speak to people on the other side of the world. I built little valve radios. Times have changed haven’t they. Everyone’s got a mobile phone now: a field radio. In fact the demos that I made in the early 80s were all signed Field Radio. Its an idea that found its moment for me.


‘Then what is it that you would do...’ What's next, it is performances of "Shiny Shiny Floor Ceiling" outside of London or maybe even give this someday on DVD?

Andrew Poppy:

Yes, we are working on getting European dates together and there are plans for Berlin! The SHINY team is very strong and the show is a real aural-visual experience. A DVD will happen but I’m not sure when. The video for IF I COULD COPY YOU has some of the flavor of the show But its another level when you are in the space. All the videos are by Julia Bardsley. She is an extraordinary image maker. We’ve been working together now for 20 years on and off and so the ideas just flow.  I’m really looking forward to presenting outside of the UK


Thank you for the interview. And yes, we …do the flip!

Andrew Poppy:

Thank you very much for the question. Its been fun!

Read the original German text on the BODYSTYLER page:

AFRiCAN PAPER review by

Auf diesen Seiten ist selten von „unseren Kreisen“ die Rede, da unsere Berichterstattung auch nicht für einen bestimmten eingrenzbaren Leserkreis gedacht ist. Dennoch vermute ich, dass der britische Komponist Andrew Poppy den meisten unserer Leser vor allem durch seine Arbeiten mit Psychic TV und Coil bekannt ist. Auf Stücken wie Coils „Boy in a Suitcase“ und in den markanten Streicherparts auf „Force the Hand of Chance“ trug er einen erheblichen Teil zu der mystischen Grundstimmung bei, die recht bald ein integraler Bestandteil der Musik sein sollte, die aus den Nachwehen des gerade zu Ende gegangenen Industrial entstanden ist. Seitdem sind fast drei Jahrzehnte vergangen, in denen Poppy als Komponist, Dirigent, Pianist und gelegentlich auch Vokalist zahllose Möglichkeiten ausschöpfte, eingängige Minimalkompositionen in der Tradition von Glass und Nyman mit einer Popkultur zu verknüpfen, die den Eruptionen des Punk entsprungen ist. Im Zuge dessen trat er in Dialog mit Gruppen wie Propaganda, Erasure oder den Working Class-Elektronikern Nitzer Ebb, mal auf deren Alben, mal mit deren Unterstützung auf eigenen Projekten.

Kräftige Streicher und feinsinnige Elektronik, Tanz und Monument, Piano und Poesie – das sind so grob die Grundlagen, auf denen Poppys Musik bis heute steht und die auch dem neuesten Werk „Shiny Floor, Shiny Ceiling“, das soeben in der Obhut von Produzent Paul Humphreys (OMD) fertig gestellt wurde, seine Grundform verleihen. Poppy und eine ganze Phalanx an Gastmusikern (vom Komponisten als “Unconfirmed Ghosts & Pessoas” bezeichnet) lassen hier spartanisch arrangierte Elektronik auf stimmungsvolle Kammermusik treffen und erzeugen ein breites atmosphärisches Spektrum. Die Dynamik der kraftvollen Musik wird durch ganz unterschiedliche Ideen aufrecht erhalten, mal durch aufgeweckte Allegri auf dem Flügel, mal durch helle Synthies und in „Knackers Yard Blues“ sogar mittels rauer Rockgitarren. Das Album ist von facettenreicher klanglicher Farbgebung und ausgesprochen vielschichtig, und wollte man sich die Mühe machen, könnte man für jeden Song eine eigene Kategorie finden. Man vergleiche nur die ersten drei Stücke: Die hintergründige Fragilität des schattenhaften „Thoughts on the Language of others“, bei dem Poppy selbst seine Lyrik vorträgt, mit dem gar nicht so düsteren Pop von „Dark Spell“, dem Propagandas Claudia Brücken ihre Stimme leiht. Oder mit dem überragenden Titelsong, bei dem der Sänger James Gilchrist, wenngleich kein Tomasini, gekonnt zwischen Bariton und Falsett switcht. Wirr und arbiträr wirkt das jedoch an keiner Stelle, denn das Album wird stets zusammengehalten von einer streckenweise fast euphorischen Feierlichkeit, die auch noch in den getragenen Momenten spürbar ist. Beeindruckend auch das Duett in „Dance With Me“, ein anrührend skurriler Song über die Unmöglichkeit zugleich von Nähe und Distanz. „ She asked me to dance, but I was so tired, I had to say no, no thank you no“. Bei „Shiny Floor, Shiny Ceiling“ kann man leicht ins Schwärmen geraten, doch wenn man wie der Rezensent eher der trockene Typ ist, läuft man Gefahr, in endloses Namedropping zu geraten und kommt am Ende noch zu dem Schluss, dass so Elijah’s Mantle außerhalb einer gnostischen Parallelwelt geklungen hätten, oder In The Nursery, wenn sie im Zuge ihres electronic turn auch noch ihren Hochglanzkitsch entsorgt hätten. Ein ausgesprochen reichhaltiges Werk, das letztlich auch ohne die vielen Querbezüge heraussticht.

On these pages is rarely of "our community" is mentioned, as our reporting is also not specific to a particular circumscribed circle of readers. Nevertheless, I suspect that the British composer Andrew Poppy is most of our readers especially known for his work with Psychic TV and Coil. In pieces such as coils, "Boy in a Suitcase" and the distinctive string parts on "Force the Hand of Chance", he contributed a significant part to the mystical mood, which should soon be an integral part of the music from the aftermath of the arose just ended previous Industrial. Since then, nearly three decades have passed, in which Poppy to exhaust as a composer, conductor, pianist and occasional vocalist countless possibilities to combine catchy minimal compositions in the tradition of Glass and Nyman with a pop culture that has sprung from the eruptions of punk. As part of this he entered into dialogue with groups such as propaganda, Erasure or the Working Class-electronics engineers Nitzer Ebb, check out their albums, even with their support on their own projects.

Strong strings and subtle electronics, dance and Monument, piano and poetry - these are so rough the foundations on which Poppy's music still stands and also the latest work "Shiny Floor, shiny ceiling" that Paul just in the care of producer Humphreys (OMD) was completed, giving its basic form. Poppy and a phalanx of guest musicians (by the composer as "Unconfirmed Ghosts & Pessoa" hereinafter) can meet here spartan electronics arranged on atmospheric chamber music and produce a wide range of atmospheric. The dynamics of the powerful music is very different ideas maintained by lively times Allegri on the wing, sometimes with bright synths and "Knackers Yard Blues" even through rough rock guitars. The album is more diverse tonal coloration and extremely complex, and they wanted to make the effort, you could find for each song its own category. Just compare the first three pieces: the subtle fragility of the shadowy "Thoughts on the language of others", in which Poppy himself recites his poetry, which is not so dark pop of "Dark Spell", the Propagandas Claudia Bridges lends her voice . Or with the outstanding title track, in which the singer James Gilchrist, although no Tomasini, skillfully switcht between baritone and falsetto. Confused and arbitrary acts but at no point, as the album is always held together by a stretch, almost euphoric celebration that also can be felt in the solemn moments. Impressively, the duet in "Dance With Me," a touching song about the impossibility of simultaneously bizarre of proximity and distance. "She asked me to dance, but I was so tired, I had to say no, no thank you no."

In "Shiny Floor, shiny ceiling" can easily fall into raptures, but if you are more of the dry type, such as the reviewer, you run the risk of falling into endless name-dropping, and comes at the end yet to the conclusion that as Elijah's Mantle outside sounded a Gnostic parallel world have, or In The Nursery if they had as part of their electronic turn also disposed of their glossy kitsch. A very extensive work that stands out, ultimately, without the many cross-references.


Minimal-Eklektik (TM) „9 songs in search of a territory. 7 voices in search of a song“, ist die offizielle Beschreibung dieses Albums. Andrew Poppy, ein Veteran der 80er-Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts, ist ein Meister der minimalen Komposition. Und ein Meister der Eklektik, denn er will sich partout auf kein Genre festlegen. Von Dark-Pop über Kunstlied und modernem Fado bis zu Rap und Hip-Hop, er mischt überall mit und versteht es, überall einen interessanten Zugang zu finden.

Und welch wunderbaren Wiederbegegnungen man hier entgegensieht: Auf „Dark Spell“ wird Andrew Poppy im Duett begleitet von Claudia Brücken, damals Sängerin bei Propaganda. Der Titelsong wird präsentiert von James Gilchrist, einem klassischen Tenor, dessen Performance von düsteren modernen Elektronika überlagert wird – so (und nur so) lasse selbst ich mir die Oper gefallen. Das einzige was fehlt an dieser großartigen, kleinen Veröffentlichung, sind die Stimmen von Kate Bush und Laurie Anderson. Sie würde so unglaublich gut passen zu diesen Kompositionen

Minimally eclecticism (TM) "9 songs in search of a territory. 7 voices in search of a Song "is the official description of this album. Andrew Poppy, a veteran of the 80s of the last century, is a masterpiece of minimal composition. And a master of eclecticism, because he wants to set partout on any genre. Dark-pop song about art and contemporary fado to rap and hip-hop, he mixes everywhere with and knows how to find anywhere an interesting approach.

And what a wonderful reunions one looks forward to here: On "Dark Spell" Andrew Poppy is accompanied in the duet by Claudia Bridges, then a singer in propaganda. The title track will be presented by James Gilchrist, a classical tenor, whose performance is overlain by dark modern electronica - so (and only so) let even I liked the opera. The only thing missing in this great little publication, are the voices of Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson. They would fit so incredibly well with these compositions

Bodystyler  review by Ivo Klassmann

Er klingt noch immer nicht wie Phil Collins und ist der passionierteste

Grenzüberschreiter zwischen klassischer Komplexität und eleganter

Zugänglichkeit geblieben. Beneidenswert flexibel unterfütterte Poppy die

Opulenz der 80er-Label-Legende ZTT, arrangierte die ersten beiden Alben

von Psychic TV, orchestrierte u.a. Nitzer Ebb sowie Erasure und wurde

dessen ungeachtet der wohl bedeutendste britische Komponist

zeitgenössischer Musik. Mit "Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling" gelingt ihm nun

eine Kombinatorik, welche Ambient, coolen Downbeat und klassische Musik

zu einem Ganzen verschmelzen lässt. Statt auf angereicherte Adaptionen

setzt er auf die Schaffung neuer Perspektiven. Sein Soundtrack

verwandelt die Docklands Light Railway in eine Geisterbahn der

Vorahnungen, in der keiner weiß wo oben&  unten ist und niemand sicher

sein kann, ob man gerade an der hypermodernen Canary Wharf Station macht

oder schon an good old Cutty Sark vorbeifuhr. Die Ansagen sind voller

Mythos und superber Metaphorik, als Fahrgäste werden die 80er-Sirene

Claudia Brücken, Tenor James Gilchrist und Fado-Göttin Lula Pena

durchgeschüttelt. Paul Humphreys manövrierte diesen exzellent

avantgardistischen Mix durch die Dunkelheit. (Ivo Klassmann)

He still doesn’t sounds like Phil Collins and is not the most passionate  Border Striders between classical complexity and elegant  Accessibility remained. Enviable flexible relined the Poppy  Opulence of the 80-label ZTT Legend arranged, the first two albums  Psychic TV, orchestrated inter alia Was Nitzer Ebb and Erasure and  the British despite the most significant composer  contemporary music. With "Shiny Shiny Floor Ceiling" it is now possible  one combinatorics which ambient, cool downbeat music and classical  merge into an entity can. Instead of enriched adaptations  He is on the creation of new perspectives. His soundtrack transformed the Docklands Light Railway in a ghost train of  Premonitions, in which no one knows where the top & bottom, and nobody is sure be, whether you are doing at the ultra-modern Canary Wharf station  or just drove by good old Cutty Sark. The announcements are full Myth and superb imagery, as passengers are the 80-siren  Claudia Bridges, tenor James Gilchrist and Fado goddess Lula Pena  shaken. Paul Humphreys maneuvered these excellent  avant-garde mix through the darkness. (Ivo Klassmann)

Klassik-Pop, Pop-Klassik? ‚Shiny Floor Shine Ceiling’ als ein Pop-Album zu bezeichnen wäre vermessen, es als ein modernes Klassik-Album zu kategorisieren trifft den Output allerdings auch nicht.

Denn in den elf Songs des neuen Andrew Poppy Albums gibt es viel mehr zu entdecken und Genres fließen ineinander wie Gletscherwasser, das irgendwo auf den salzigen Gefährten in den Ozeanen dieser Welt trifft. Man kennt die Bilder, wo zwei Gewässer scheinbar wie durch eine Wand getrennt scheinen und sich nur an bestimmten Stellen durch nicht vollständig geklärte Einflüsse bereitwillig vermischen. Ähnlich stellen sich die elf Songs des Albums dar, mal sehr bewusst mit Fokus auf Süßwasser, dann wieder Meeresromantik oder eben die waghalsige Mischung. Natürlich muss ich als erstes auf ‚Dark Spell’ eingehen, zum einen, da Claudia Brücken hier die Vocals beisteuert, zum anderen, da hier genau eine der perfekten musikalischen Emulsionen entsteht, die oben beschrieben wurden. Cembalo-verwandte Akkorde, klassische Flächen und eben die wunderbar entspannte Pop-Melodie, die Eingänglichkeit verspricht ohne dabei auch nur ein Quäntchen Spannung aus der Komposition zu nehmen, setzen sich zu einem beeindruckenden Ganzen zusammen. Nicht weniger aufregend schließt sich der Titeltrack des Albums an, bei dem James Gilchrist zunächst mit kristallklarer, klassischer Stimme mit den fast sterilen, hohen Klaviertönen spielt, bevor Bässe hinzukommen, die dreckiger fast nicht sein könnten und auch einer Björk bestens zu Gesicht stehen würden. Bereits vorab kurz als Thema in gut einer Minute eingeführt taucht die geschulte Stimme von Margaret Cameron zusammen mit einem erzählenden Poppy in ‚Persephone Scream Dream’ auf; eines der schwierigeren Stücke, das dem Hörer Einsatz und bewusstes Zuhören abverlangt. Und so findet man Rezitation neben klassischem Gesang, Elektronik neben organischen Sounds, Flow neben Sperrigkeit.

Andrew Poppy erklärt der Langeweile und der Eintönigkeit ganz deutlicg den krieg, er war schon immer einer, der nicht auf Teufel komm raus gefallen will, sondern konsequent seine Ideen umsetzt. Schön dass das Ergebnis trotzdem gefällt, zumindest denen die sich auf Neues und Anderes einlassen können.

Hier übrigens noch der Cast aus dem Pressetext:

U n c o n f I r m e d G h o s t s & P e s s o a s

Andrew Poppy is The Wave

Claudia Brücken as The Angel of Only

James Gilchrist as The Man of Red Dust

Lula Pena as The Seamstress of The Corridor

Bernardo Devlin as Henry Fortune The Lucky Horse

Margaret Cameron as Persephone: Myth and Marionette

Guillermo Rozenthuler as Stepanov The Notator of Dances

Classic Pop, Pop Classics? , Shiny Shine Floor Ceiling 'could be described as a pop album presumptuous to categorize it as a modern classical album hits the output but not too.

For the eleven songs on the new album Andrew Poppy there is much more to discover and genres flow together as glacier water that hits somewhere on the salty companions in the world's oceans. You know the pictures where two waters seem apparently separated as by a wall and only in certain places willingly by not completely clarified influences mingle. Similarly, are the eleven songs on the album, sometimes very consciously focused on freshwater, marine again romance or even the daring mixture. Of course I have to be the first, enter Dark Spell ', firstly because Claudia bridges here contributes the vocals, on the other hand, since exactly one of the perfect musical emulsions formed, which were described above. Harpsichord-related chords, classical surfaces and just the wonderful relaxed pop tune that Eingänglichkeit promises without even a modicum of tension from the composition to take to put together an impressive whole. No less exciting is followed by the title track, in which James Gilchrist initially plays with crisp, clear, classical voice with almost sterile, high piano notes before Bass added, the dirtier could almost not be and also a Björk would be best to face. Already previously introduced briefly as a theme in a good minute dips the trained voice of Margaret Cameron, together with a narrative in Poppy, Persephone Scream Dream on ', one of the more difficult pieces that demands the listener use and conscious listening. And one finds recitation besides classical singing, in addition to organic electronic sounds that flow next to bulkiness.

Andrew Poppy explains the boredom and monotony quite deutlicg the war, he was always one, the devil will not come out like, but systematically implements his ideas. Nice to see the result like it anyway, at least those who can engage in new and different.

Here, incidentally, even the cast from the press release:

U n c o n f i r m e d G h o s t S & P e s s o a s

Andrew Poppy is The Wave

Claudia Bridges as The Angel of Only

James Gilchrist as The Man of Red Dust

Lula Pena as The Seamstress of The Corridor

Bernardo Devlin as Henry Fortune The Lucky Horse

Margaret Cameron as Persephone: Myth and puppet

Guillermo Rozenthuler as Stepanov The Notator of Dances