Phil Manzanera 50 Minutes Later Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

Let's face it, he was always the coolest Roxy member after Eno...

Chris Jones 2004

Phil's wry sleevenotes disingenuously refer to his artistic freedom as being due to 'never being in fashion'. This from the guitarist of art rock's hippest band of 1973? Let's face it, he was always the coolest Roxy member after Eno, and 50 Minutes - made, in part, with Brian, Paul Thompson and Robert Wyatt - shows us how he's retained such status for 30 years.

Manzanera's voice may not be too distinctive (except where he does a great Wyatt impersonation on ''Desparecido''!), yet this is a satisfying album compared with its lumpen predecessor, 6PM. His guitar playing was always the right side of avant garde and here it shines amidst arrangements that bounce between psychedelic rock and Argentinian ambience.

It's on the latter that he really hits the spot: ''50 Minutes Mas Tarde'' could be from an early solo Wyatt album. Meanwhile, the 10-minute remix, ''Enotonik Bible Black'', is a stunningly disquieting confluence of electronica and free jazz. Let's hope there's more on the way...

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