1977 and we are going mad It’s 1977 and we’ve seen too many ads 1977 and we’re gonna show them all That apathy’s a drag
So sang Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex.
This was my 1977 living in the middle of effin’ nowhere in a small village East (yes East) of Hull. My 1977 was one of avoiding the Jubilee and listening to The Damned, The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Stranglers. This was my musical year zero. Anything that went before was forgotten about, and for years bands that were not progeny of the punk explosion were dead to me.
As you might guess if anyone had played me ‘Vision’s Fugitive’ by Sensations’ Fix would have received very short shrift indeed, sent away with a bunch of expletive fleas in their ear regarding the true nature of ‘music’. What my former self would have made of this website I shudder to think. That attitude has always meant that I’ve always been playing catch up with certain style of music, genre which I now feel much more disposed to. Consequently Sensations’ Fix are new to me and so I am listening to this re-issue from the wonderful Berlin label Sound of Cobra with fresh ears.
Sensations’ Fix came out of what was a burgeoning Italian Prog Rock scene in the 1970s. Essentially the brainchild of one Franco Falsini, the band brought out a string of albums that were more experimental than most of their contemporaries, Falsini being drawn more to the stirrings of experimental music from German rather than my British Prog nemeses. ‘Vision’s Fugitive’ was the sixth full-length album and a departure for the band. Having relocated to the State of Virginia in the US, this was perhaps the first Sensations’ Fix to take account of the burgeoning New York scene, and indeed has a similar future dystopian theme as Television’s ‘Marquee Moon’.
So while there are definite nods to a more ‘New Wave’ sound on this release, I doubt my 1977 self would have come round since there is still plenty prog-style flourish on the album; which has been fully remixed for this repress by Falsini himself. More than that he has mixed in some extra snippets of tracks, and there is an additional number ‘Children of Light and Sound’ which was recorded during the same sessions.
Having not heard the original of this it would be pointless for me to dissect the differences between the two albums, so I’ll stick with this new version. This album feels very fresh, and I suspect that this is a mix of the original material being strong and itself forward looking, Falsini by all accounts was the sort of character who wanted to drive the band into new directions. He himself also moved into dance music, an area where re-mixing is a real art, and so he is well place to update this lost classic, and I am sure that has contributed to its freshness.
Having heard this album several times now I wish I was able to write my 1977 self a letter telling him to get his act together and give this Sensations’ Fix album a go. It’s an album which might have lit quite a few fires for me and lead me back to the Krautrock scene, into 70s New York, and then given me a good basis to move forward into all sorts of interesting music a good twenty years before I finally discovered it. In the end I did ok, and certainly had my fill of great bands. It’s just that this album might have shown me how rewarding it is to be musically open-minded. I suspect I wouldn’t have listened anyway, but hey my loss then is my gain now because I’m really stoked to have discovered this lost artifact…something that’s now mine to treasure.