Label: Conspiracy International/CTI
Format: LP, Coloured
When Throbbing Gristle disbanded in 1981, Chris and Cosey embarked on a career as a duo that'd see them through four decades (and counting) of constant experimentation, reinvention and innovation. By the time they released 'Musik Fantastique!' they were already deep into their journey, and had settled into a relaxed groove. With little to prove, they were able to concentrate on slick songwriting and twitchy beatbox and synth work that was pulling in as much inspiration from Detroit techno and electro as it was chilly European pop. Nowhere near as gloomy and sensual as 1987's well-known "Exotika" or its grinding, industrial followups, this album sounds bright in comparison, with fizzy electronics and fourth-world FM sounds replacing the usual thick Wax Trax-era thump and erotique tension.
'Sound of Sound' almost nudges into psychedelic trance territory (at least an early iteration of it) with lysergic, filtered arpeggios and wonked electro percussion, and 'Masqued' combines that level of drugginess with a tempered 4/4 grind and John Foxx synth wails. 'Afrakira' is particularly worth a closer look, giving Cosey a chance to experiment with her vocals over electronic marimba hits and uneasy TV movie textures - as if Jon Hassell was producing an Enya record, in the best possible way.