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Phantascope CD Cover
Image © Rhythmbank Entertainment 2004

Interview and Photos

(07 May 2005) Tommy Greñas and Len Del Rio, aka the Anubian Lights, are back just in time to get under the skin of modern music one more time before it implodes. The bands early eighties brit-wave neo-psychedlic bliss is aided, abetted, and taken to new levels as the legendary Adele Bertei joins the fold. After a decade of writing, recording, and performing Phantascope (Rhythmbank Entertainment (USA) RBE-00001, 2004) finds Anubian Lights at the top of their game.

Adele Bertei is a rock and roll legend. She began her career as the frontwoman for rocker favorites Peter & the Wolves and has also fronted her own all female band The Bloods. She has contributed backing vocals on albums by everyone from Culture Club and Tears for Fears to Matthew Sweet. She has read her poetry as an opener for the likes of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg. What could possibly be left to do?!

Adele's unique voice has been absent from music for the last decade but a group of quirky cult favorites have lured her back to us. Adele is finally back in the fold and it was imperative that we find out what it took to bring her home. Read more in our exclusive interview.

The dissonant--almost annoying--guitars and funky bass line of the opening track, "Wild Winter," catch you right away as Adele screeches, "’m Vexxxxed! Like a bug in a clock/ Pushing the Arms/Hitting the seconds/ Marking the hours/ And I’m counting the red…" The song pushes you to the brink of hating this album right away and then sucks you back in ever so gently with the soft caress of the keyboards and understated male lead vocal of "Bahjan." While "Wild Winter" may catch you off guard and throw your balance a bit, the Lights more than make up for any rough introductions.

Phantascope is quite an interesting ride through the collective mind of this trio. The quirky early punk sounds of bands like Blondie, Devo, and maybe even a hint of a band like Berlin--especially vocally--are more than evident on songs like "Wild Winter," "Shine," "Andromeda Skin" and "Thru the Wire." The band manages to make this sound fresh and new but they also leave little question about where their roots lie. The heavy worldbeat style dance rhythm of "New Wildlife" is definitely the odd man out on this CD of quirky pop but it ushers in some interesting sounds that give you a break from the quirkier nature of many of the songs. Anubian Lights truly shine on the songs "Lady Berlin" and "Way Gone Man" though. Their laid back approach and dreamy sound are unquestionably a nice change of pace from today's music scene.

Although this is a great CD, the band's roots may be exposed a little too much for some listeners' preferences but Adele Bertei's voice adds a whole new dimension to Anubian Lights sound. If this is a hint of what's to come then you'll be hearing a lot about the Anubian Lights again in the coming years.--Mark Fisher

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