The Age Of Immunology
4.4Overall Score

Rectangles, squares and circles in red and black. Like the artwork by Russian painter Kazimir Malevich, the black-and-white photos could just as well have been by Man Ray. Yet all the images were made by the band members of Vanishing Twin and, in the booklet in which they are depicted, acts as a limited supplement to their first LP released in 2016. These musicians are obviously very much interested in art, more obvious in their videos and on their album sleeves in which they refer to art movements Dada and Bauhaus.

At first hearing this British band makes avant-garde pop reminiscent of groups such as White Noise, United States Of America and the more recent Broadcast. Let’s call it music of the future as seen from the sixties. And just like these bands, Vanishing Twin also prefer playfully combining electronic and acoustic instruments. Vanishing Twin, fronted mainly of singer and versatile musician Cathy Lucas who described the album in three words, she answered: “International, exploratory, political”.

That’s right. The album is inspired by A. David Napier’s The Age Of Immunology. His book, which dates from 2003 but is more relevant than ever, sees the anthropologist outline a future perspective in an environment in which people are increasingly alienated from each other. He questions how we view our body and see ourselves in a world where boundaries are constantly being determined, raising contemporary issues in the process. Who are you, to which group do you belong? Cultural, social, political? The French spoken song ‘Planèt Sauvage’, not just a tribute to a science-fiction animation from 1973, touches on concepts such as occupation and oppression.

Yet this album is not as stodgy as the underlying theme suggests. Vanishing Twin offers hope and the song ‘You’re Not An Island’ gives comfort in repeating the words “we are side by side”. The more you hear this LP, the more other aspects begin to jump out: the beautifully sung melodies, the mood of film music, the ease with which the music is played, the sound effects that subtly crawl between the sounds, the bassist and drummer that seem to play independently but at the same time give the lucid songs momentum. In any case these songs contain a contrast that makes this record a first-class listening experience: open, accessible and breeding ground for a musical quest. With every spin it takes more and more possession of you, of head and heart, of reason and feeling. In short, a beautiful album that hides a completely unique character, the beginning of an identity of its own.

Following the conceptual artwork of the band, a black and white spiral shape was pressed into one of the vinyl versions of this release. Which gives a nice, almost dizzying effect during playback. The LP contains a poster and a postcard with a download code.

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