Based in Northern England, Skin Vehicles is the Musical output of Fine artist Dex Hannon and Writer Dexuality Valentino. He has released 13 albums under Skin Vehicles and also 2 albums under the guise of DVEC with American Collaborator Eunice Cazarez. His music has featured on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction as well as stations internationally. “A long time ago I wrote a poem Lemon Fish Twists in a Champagne Glass, a good friend Julian created a song out of,” explains Dex. “I loved it and had to include it here, I then returned to that poem for the album title and track. I wanted the album to be diverse in sounds, pulling from dance, techno, neoclassical, just anything I could throw in there that worked,” he concludes.
For many Skin Vehicles music could be considered complex ambient background sonics with the listener allowing the tracks to waft over and around them. In contrast, numerous electronic heads could study each track to find hidden meaning and significance, as well as unfold its intricate construction. In all fairness the Skin Vehicles project sounds like it belongs in the next generation of forward thinking electronic craftsmen.
Skin Vehicles push the edge of the electronic music envelope by pulling their sounds around and deconstructing conventional song arrangements to make them something completely different. All of which can be witnessed on their latest 16 track album “Lemon Fish Twists on a Champagne Glass”. This recording is not intended to be everyone’s cup of tea, but for the adventurous and open-minded, it offers numerous rewards.
The more you listen to “Lemon Fish Twists on a Champagne Glass”, the more accustomed you’ll become to the world Skin Vehicles has created within the album. It is an excellent gateway into an enormous experimental blend of music styles. Each track has its own distinctive sound-bed, with multidimensional effects, scattering timbres, elements of menace, elegant tones, transient basslines, vocal interludes, and punctuating rhythms.
The tracks on the album don’t have that much in the way of structure, as they are more concerned with creating auras, atmospheres and emotions. Simply put, no one does electronic music quite like Skin Vehicles.
Anyone in search of complex, ambitious, ultra-progressive electronic music is well advised to spend time with “Lemon Fish Twists on a Champagne Glass”. The true innovation lies with how the components of each song are carefully placed together and developed in genuinely fresh and original ways.
Right from the opening track, “Dreams Exploding Everywhere”, with its seemingly-overwhelming textures and tones, Skin Vehicles offer an invigorating, thrillingly cerebral ride through sound. “Night Train to Nowhere” sticks to the alt-ambient template, while “We are all lost transmissions looking for a source” heads toward more experimental territory. “I will hunt you” is a superb cut, paste and mix of vocals into a comprehensive rhythmic composition.
The clavichord of “New times are just old times just newer” joins the rolling basslines of “We are not alone” and the incessant piano chords of “Hunting for arguments” to push the momentum of the album along. “
Dead Fascistas” comes in on a croak and a growl, which eventually leads to the ricocheting chug of the title track, “Lemon Fish Twists on a Champagne Glass”. These are all utter, blistering, angular soundscapes which are unpredictable and labyrinthine.
The dense but tentative “Something sharp and ticklish” moves on to the playful keys of “King of Longsynths”, before making way for the cinematic string opulence of “Run from the Night” and “Struck out alone”.
“Fashion is dead long live dead fashion” mixes the cinematic with powerful doses of classic music stylings. Introspective respite comes with the lively but exquisitely minimal instrumentation of “King of Longsnakes”. The album closes with a Bonus Track – “Lemon Fish Twists” Punk version with Julian Homer.
Diverse and enthralling, “Lemon Fish Twists on a Champagne Glass” grows and enraptures over repeats listens. Skin Vehicles has crafted a mind-bending, constantly-flowing, and colorful musical journey.