Andy Jackson - Signal to Noise

Andy Jackson Signal to Noise cover
Andy Jackson
Signal to Noise
Esoteric Recordings
Andy Jackson did make a name for himself as an engineer for Pink Floyd and their members’ projects. An understudy of James Guthrie at Utopia Studios, he was seminal in the creation of a lot of the later Pink Floyd albums. He also did produce Fields Of The Nephilim and took part as a guitarist in Eden House, a band that ex-Nephilim Tony Pettitt, launched after departing, the “Fields”... He also has three albums to his own credit… along with other musicians, namely “On the Surface”, “Obvious” and “Mythical Burrowing Animals”.
“Signal to Noise” is an amalgam of all those things… there’s a very strong Floyd presence and influence, there’s an overbearing melancholy that’s very new wave/goth-ish and overall the ebb and flow of the album are slow and peaceful. If one had to put it under a label, one would probably use prog, but not because of some meandering virtuosic, instrumental parts, but mostly because of its psych, heavy hearted atmosphere...
The album delves into the deep from the go with the opener “The Boy in the Forest” at slightly more than seven minutes, moving very slowly and gracefully, half feeding on/off Floyd and half on 80s goth.
“One More Push”, manages to also evoke some simple but great melody. Seemingly working with a band that has mastered, making great effect out of very minimalist arrangements at times, has rubbed off on Jackson and he’s able to really convey a lot of emotion, with very few notes. If there’s a slight issue, with anything, it’s that he’s probably not the world’s most gifted vocalist, not so much in delivery, but in having a very interesting or hugely likable timbre, so he tries to compensate with the use of multiple effects on his voice. It works well.
“Invisible Colours” is a lot more “washed away” reminiscent of some earlier Floyd and some other psych and early prog bands.
“Spray Paint” continues the very mysterious, down-trodden, shoe gazing, style, a bit of a sad epitaph to innocence, that's only interrupted by the soft noodlings of a guitar.
“Herman at the Fountain” is heavy footed, moving slowly, hazy… at over nine minutes, it’s very psychedelic, even in its acoustic form and nature… with its whispered delivery it’s so haunting and bizarrely beautiful.
“It All Came Crashing Down” adds more misery… and even if it seems to shift form during it’s time, it ends up finishing without a proper conclusion, somewhat like an unfinished poem…
Last but not least “Brownian Motion” decides to get more electric, more weird and more #$%@^@% up as it formlessly meanders for some seven plus minutes to the albums conclusion.
Well, it’s certainly an interesting album, quite atmospheric, but also quite catatonic. It does what it does rather well but, I don’t know if it’s something I would revisit much too often. Still it’s exemplary for its use of atmospherics.