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Second Layer - World Of Rubber 2009 reissue review (Red Sun)

date: Apr 21, 2009


Second Layer - World Of Rubber (2009 reissue)

Second Layer featured Adrian Borland and Graham Bailey, founding members of The Sound. They pioneered the use of drum machines and mixed machine based soundscape with more human elements created a sound way ahead of its time. After releasing a couple of singles in 1979 and 1980 they released World of Rubber on Cherry Red in 1981. A beautiful, hard and emotional record. It contained many of the same elements as The Sound , not much of a surprise considering the line up, but the machine element gives it a very different sound. 

The music has been worked outside the Sound structure and has turned out to be a very successful 'public' experiment, a characteristic feature is the full use of guitar and synth. Sounds which gel beautifully with the controlled use of a drum machine, for the results that have been successfully achieved here, it is essential that the drum machine be incorporated as a vital unit in the mix and not simply used as a time keeping metronome, 'Definition of Honour' with lines such as 'Dead medals for the dead', opens the album - a very bitter but well documented antiwar song. 

Further political overtones appear in 'Underneath the glows', which challenges the notion of false security within our society. However, the music is not dominated by political content, but also operates on personalized and 'love' themes, as in 'Save our souls' and 'In Bits' - these pieces seem to reach out and actively involve the listener. 'Fixation' has some dominant and memorable bass playing, while 'Japanese Headset' brings the effects of eastern torture into your living room (and lubricates), however, the outstanding piece is 'Black Flowers' which has been carefully selected to close the album, it is by far the moodiest and slowest of the pieces and lingers on, long after the music has finished. World Of Rubber has never been released on CD and the vinyl is extremely hard to track down. The bonus track Skylon was previously unavailable and has now been released for the very first time.

source: Red Sun Records

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