PP&P VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars

  • With so many Anthony Phillips albums in existence, many of them will probably never have their own threads around here. But I'd like to start one for this album (which I have fondly nicknamed "Soft Waves, Slow Stars").


    I don't recall where I first got the album, roughly 20 years ago, but it may have been the very last vinyl LP I got before seriously starting to replace all my records with CDs. I sat and listened to it once, but -- except for the brief "Bubble & Squeak" -- it didn't do much for me. (In retrospect, it's really not an album for just sitting and listening to.) I proceeded to sell the LP on eBay (which took a couple of tries). After that it remained the earliest of the handful of Ant albums I didn't own (and the only one of the Private Parts & Pieces series).


    For some reason last week, it suddenly occurred to me that I'd like to hear the album again. I found it on YouTube and listened to it (as background music, with interruptions from loud advertisements) and thought, "Hey, I actually like this." It so happened that I was able to find a surprisingly cheap copy of it online, and so it has finally joined my CD collection.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

    Edited once, last by DecomposingMan ().

  • I really like this album. Out of the guitar tracks, 'Bubble & Squeak' right away caught my attention; off the synth tracks, 'Behind The Waterfall' remains my favourite. Most of the synth tracks remind me a lot on 80's SciFi shows, they have this certain spacey sound. I just love the sounds of the Prophet V Ant used on this album (and only here), I recognized it from the early Level 42 albums on which Mike Lindup and Wally Badarou used it too.


    Overall, this is the album I find best for a foggy night. I connect most of Ant's albums with a certain daytime, season and weather. 'City of Dreams' is for a late night time with a clear sky, 'Pathways and Promenades' is for a Spring afternoon with a little rain, etc.

  • I am quite a huge fan of Anthony's work. Think I have all his discovery. unless he popped out another release without me looking.:D


    The Private Parts and Pieces collection is very good indeed. 8)


    Though I like this part of his discovery. I also like the Missing Links, specially Finger Painting.

  • Quote

    I just love the sounds of the Prophet V Ant used on this album

    Ant has never actually owned or used a Prophet V - the synths he played on Slow Waves, Soft Stars are the Roland Jupiter 8, Casio CZ5000, ARP 2600 and the Polymoog.

  • Ant has never actually owned or used a Prophet V - the synths he played on Slow Waves, Soft Stars are the Roland Jupiter 8, Casio CZ5000, ARP 2600 and the Polymoog.

    Thanks! I must have got it confused with the Jupiter 8.

    Still, he must have used some synths there he never used elsewhere? The sound is quite distinctive. I think I read somewhere Ant borrowed synths for this album.

  • Jonathan Dann - just want to thank you for providing first hand info on some questions every now and then. Much appreciated! :)

    Thanks - that's very kind of you.

    Thanks! I must have got it confused with the Jupiter 8.

    Still, he must have used some synths there he never used elsewhere? The sound is quite distinctive. I think I read somewhere Ant borrowed synths for this album.

    I believe what you may be thinking of is this: in the summer of 1983 the library company Atmosphere rented a Jupiter 8 for Ant to use for the first time for a library music project. He was inspired by the different sounds from the Jupiter 8 and used it to recorded a large amount of new material. Some of the pieces were used for the library project and can be heard on the first volume of Missing Links including Evening Ascent, Streamer and Sad Fish. Other pieces recorded at the same time didn't quite fit the library music brief but Ant returned to them for Slow Waves, Soft Stars adding new parts in places to the original recordings such as the different sections of Ice Flight.


    Ant subsequently bought the Jupiter 8 from the hire company - it was used on numerous recordings from late 1983 onwards, including Slow Dance and he still has it to this day. The only synth he bought after that which is used on PP7 was the Casio CZ5000, which amongst other things is played on Vanishing Streets and the title track of the album. I think it's more a case of Ant using synth sounds that he never used elsewhere rather than different instruments.