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Peter Gabriel - I/O: Bright-Side Mixes [Vinyl LP]

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Peter Gabriel - I/O: Bright-Side Mixes - 12" Vinyl LP Record

2LP on 33.3 rpm Black Vinyl with Obi-strip, Gatefold Sleeve, 32-page Booklet & Hi-Res Download Code

i/o is 12 tracks of grace, gravity and great beauty that provide welcome confirmation of not only Peter’s ongoing ability to write stop-you-in-your-tracks songs but also of that thrilling voice, still perfectly, delightfully intact. Throughout the album the intelligent and thoughtful – often thought-provoking – songs tackle life and the universe. Our connection to the world around us – ‘I’m just a part of everything’ Peter sings on title track i/o – is a recurring motif, but so too the passing of time, mortality and grief, alongside such themes as injustice, surveillance and the roots of terrorism. But this is not a solemn record. While reflective, the mood is never despondent; i/o is musically adventurous, often joyous and ultimately full of hope, topped off as it is, by the rousingly optimistic closing song, Live and Let Live.

‘After a years-worth of full moon releases, I’m very happy to see all these new songs back together on the good ship i/o and ready for their journey out into the world.’ – Peter Gabriel

Recorded mostly at Real World Studios and Peter’s home studio, the lengthy gestation of i/o means it has a sizeable cast list. Peter has kept his trusty inner circle of musicians close to hand, which means guitarist David Rhodes, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Manu Katché are sterling presences throughout. Several songs bear the fingerprints of long-time associate Brian Eno, whilst there are notable contributions from Richard Russell, pianist Tom Cawley, trumpeters Josh Shpak and Paolo Fresu, cellist Linnea Olsson and keyboard player Don E. Peter’s daughter Melanie contributes warm backing vocals, as does Ríoghnach Connolly of The Breath, while Real World regulars Richard Chappell, Oli Jacobs, Katie May and Richard Evans collectively provide programming and play various instruments. Soweto Gospel Choir and Swedish all-male choir Oprhei Drängar lend their magnificent harmonies to a selection of tracks, and the mass strings of the New Blood Orchestra, led by John Metcalfe, both soothe and soar.

Renowned for being a boundary-pushing artist, i/o is not simply a collection of a dozen songs. All 12 tracks are subject to two stereo mixes: the Bright-Side Mix, handled by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, and the Dark-Side Mix, as reshaped by Tchad Blake. “We have two of the greatest mixers in the world in Tchad and Spike and they definitely bring different characters to the songs. Tchad is very much a sculptor building a journey with sound and drama, Spike loves sound and assembling these pictures, so he’s more of a painter.”

Continuing the idea developed for Peter’s US and UP albums, he has again invited a range of visual artists to contribute a piece of art to accompany the music and each of i/o’s 12 songs were handed to a world-renowned artist to create an accompanying work, whether paint, photography, sculpture or even Plasticine. The dozen artists make an exceedingly impressive team of collaborators: Ai Weiwei, Nick Cave, Olafur Eliasson, Henry Hudson, Annette Messager, Antony Micallef, David Moreno, Cornelia Parker, Megan Rooney, Tim Shaw, David Spriggs and Barthélémy Toguo.

Another visual link with Peter’s past work is the cover shot. Taken by photographer Nadav Kander, it echoes with the covers of his earlier albums, always present but, with the exception of So, intriguingly obscured or manipulated.

These echoes of the past might resonate, but i/o is fundamentally an album of – and for – the here and now. Many of its themes may be timeless, but they’re also warnings that we’re living on borrowed time, both as a planet and as individuals. As Peter sings on the divine So Much, “this edition is limited”.

The wait has been worth every minute. i/o is another triumphant Peter Gabriel record.

Tracklist

A1    Panopticom
A2    Playing For Time
A3    The Court

B1    Four Kinds Of Horses
B2    i/o
B3    Love Can Heal

C1    Road To Joy
C2    So Much
C3    Olive Tree

D1    This Is Home
D2    And Still
D3    Live And Let Live

A 2LP version of the Dark-Side Mix is also available

2023 Real World Records Release - PGLP21
UPC: 0884108013595