Eyeless In Gaza ‎– Fabulous Library

Orchid Records ‎– ORCHID EYE 001
CD, Album


1 Slow Train 6:03
2 Fabulous Library 3:17
3 As Far And Deep As Love 4:41
4 Be The Teacher 4:44
5 Vivid (Full-On) 6:27
6 She Tries On The Jewels 3:42
7 Stone Smile 6:24
8 Stormy Weather 4:35
9 Feel Like Letting Go 8:03
10 Loves A Sometime Thing 6:38

Companies, etc.



EIG on this recording is Martyn Bates, Peter Becker and Elizabeth S.

Distributed in Germany by Rough Trade

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout: ORCHIDEYE001 10229611 01 % MADE IN U.K. BY PDO

Other Versions (1 of 1) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ORCHID EYE 001 Eyeless In Gaza Fabulous Library(CD, Album) Orchid Records ORCHID EYE 001 Germany 1993 Sell This Version



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May 21, 2012
This album reflects the sound of the New Risen, Phoenix-like EIG, a more mellow, smooth group who have almost completely escaped the Folk sound of the "After The Rains" era, taking on a sound which has one foot in easy listening smooth White Soul, and the other planted firmly (and with most weight) in an area of trancy, just-slightly-edgy experimentation. As always the instrumentation is damned good (with a jokey credit list inside the cover, including Tate 'n' Lyle strings, toys, slide elocution lessons & more) and they've lost any of the awkward quirkiness of earlier days, having a crisper yet more ethereal sound. But the real change is in the vocal approach - MARTYN, one of the most distinctive elements of EYELESS has taken a back seat to let ELIZABETH S take over lead vocals. Risky, chancy, yes, but it works - LIZ has a surprisingly powerful, tonally colourful voice which probably suits this music better, while MARTYN fills in the background with his warm tones. EYELESS IN GAZA have been reborn a new, revitalised group who, judging by this, should concentrate on albums rather than singles. "Slow Train" is one of the more catchy tracks here, a smooth, long, warm, almost hypnotic thing built on rippling keyboards & a bassline-heavy rhythm. Fragments of sound fall like shards of ice in a silent cavern while the two vocalists smooth off any edges, blanketing it in deep, welcoming warmth. "Fabulous Library", the title track is a little more bright, built on a fairly minimal rhythm with some odd keyboard motifs & distant trumpet sounds. A more upbeat thing with crocodile-chains of words dipping up & down between the addictive (and simple) chorus. "So Far And Deep As Love" is a faster, more driving rhythmic piece, made danceable by a heavy thudding bass drum, it still maintains it's smooth harmony and warmth with MARTYN taking over lead vocals & LIZ adding tones in the background. Full of sequential diversions & detours, it keeps you interested while always driving onward. Probably the most addictive track on the entire album is "Be The Teacher", a smooth, easy-listening piece which shows how well the two vocalists work together - the male voice climbing up to various heights while the female deep tones hug the earth - perhaps an unconscious metaphor? "Vivid (Full On)" shows them approaching unusual rhythmic timings, this one a quick cycling keyboard loop over which various instruments and voices form their own counter rhythms, all combining into a interesting piece with a mellow Jazz logic. "She Tries On The Jewels" is another, stranger, almost abstract piece, it's rhythm wallowing around in strange array while the various voices & stark noises stand out of the smooth body - calming & slightly mystifying. "Stone Smile" opens to church bell carillons, turning to one of their sustained rhythmic tracks with odd Dub-like elements appearing here & there (PETE's Reggae influence?) setting down into a soothing tunnel of music, carrying the listener along on a peaceful-yet-fascinating journey. "Stormy Weather" is a cool little song, seemingly simple, laid back but effective with LIZ lightening her voice & PETE BECKER coming with most of the instrumentation. "Feel Like Letting Go" opens on various drones which span {{over}} into a thin, filigree rhythmic thing which BATES' voice fills with warm {{}} gradually building in a variety of electronic sounds (sequences etc.) {{}} medium-fast-paced atmospheric song. "Loves A Sometime Thing" closes the album, another warm track full of harmonies & modest glitter. Things certainly look good for the future with EIG. I'm not sure who to say I'd compare them to - to clutch at straws, I'd say they have the smoothness of, say SADE with the mysterous, slightly ethereal atmosphere of COCTEAU TWINS, although their music probably falls outside this area, in some strange midway spot.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.