Banco De Gaia – Big Men Cry (20th Anniversary Re-issue)

This is something of a lost classic, and much sought after by fans who discovered him long after this album had been and gone, and I include myself in their ranks. It fell between the cracks back in 1997, when it first came out, and this is a limited CD release, with no downloads available, so don’t miss out a second time.

Back then, it was a classic case of a newly acclaimed and successful artist delivering an album the record company didn’t quite know what to do with. He’d had two number one albums, and a Mercury nomination, and not surprisingly, Planet Dog Records wanted and expected more of the same. Unfortunately, Banco de Gaia aka Toby Marks had other ideas and wanted to move on. There was an inevitable breakdown of relations, which was compounded when the parent label went bust, making the album impossible to get hold of – until now.

This is a sort of how Pink Floyd would sound if they took themselves less seriously and chilled out a little, and takes us on a trip to the more spaced-out, less beat oriented regions of ambient dub. When it was briefly available, it gained great critical acclaim, although was initially less popular with the fans he had at that time. Listening to it again now, it seems crazy to think this is 20 years old, but it signposted the way electronic music was heading, and stands up well to comparison with anything released since. A bonus disc of remixes is an added pleasure, but the originals are the gems here. Feel free to lose yourself in this. Better still, buy it for someone you know who’s still listening to Dark Side of the Moon. They’ll thank you (and me)


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