Originally released on Hyperium records in 1993. This is the Two Gods label remastered reissue.
Darklife – DE – 2011
The Hidden Agenda ranks among the highest in my personal favorites, and I’m not far from the truth if I state that this the album is the incarnation of the highest levels of Martin Bowes and Julia Waller partnership.
One of the first things noticed upon spinning the disk, is the fact that there’s little to nothing on it betraying its revered age. 1993 was the year the work was originally released, and I frankly cannot think of just one more example of an album that could have been released yesterday, or any day during the past 18 years and still be able to disguise its age with such ease.
Martin’s electronic arrangements, a combination of gritty electronic phrases, fatter than life bass lines, laid against a backdrop of atmospheric synth movements, have meanwhile become an universally celebrated manifesto of electronic avant-garde going hand in hand with a moderate gothic sensation. These are laid down at their best here, with Martin’s trademark growled quasi-spoken vocal work, coupled with Julia’s unique counterpoint that ranges from operatic to ethereal and much in between. Here is where über classics such as Lip Sync and Mercy Machine have found their first life.
Now, if there’s an album I would urge any relatively recent scenesters to go and listen to, this is Hidden Agenda.
This edition also includes three tracks extra to the original, which first appeared on the Lip Sync single. Although not the first time the album is released featuring this tracklist, there are obvious improvements over previous versions due to a wise remastering process.