Category Archives: Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra

Loves of Life


Peter Gordon and Factory Floor‘s Beachcombing is a chimera and a mirage that confounds our expectations about what is warm (the saxophone), and what is cold (those electric machines). The synths ululate like creatures of the dark forest, or cruisers creating their own zone of perversity in a forlorn park under the shadow of an squadron of leprous high rises. The saxophone is a relay releasing mega-bursts of information like the last escape pod from a moribund civilisation, or the final stage in the evolution of communication technology, when mankind transcends the digital.

Engineering mutates into mysticism, techno into jazz and everything becomes birds soaring in that awesome zone or genre that could well be called “Psyche Out” as un-defined by Optimo, who are aptly putting Beachcombing out, a moment we celebrate with Peter Gordon’s and Nik Void’s very own choices of inspirations and influences.

This is basically what we are about, we are so honoured to be featuring this post. Enjoy, and buy the record here.

john coltrane a love supreme

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme part 1: Acknowledgements

Peter: “As a kid, I used to listen to this every night as I would fall asleep. This record opened me up to the truly transcendent nature of music.”


Love of Life Orchestra – Condo

Nik: “Condo is the first track I heard by Peter and sparked off our initial conversation on-line that let to our collaboration. I personally refer to Peter’s work in my head as compositions rather than tracks. I love this fade in, I love the ethereal vocals in unison, the slowed down metronomic cowbell beat.

mothers of invention absolutely free

The Mothers of Invention – Plastic People
Peter: “Totally opened me up what was possible regarding use of studio, collage, genre mixing, smart writing, incredible musicianship yet totally irreverent.”

nico the marble index

Nico – Frozen Warnings
Nik: “Again another track with an ethereal quality. Her vocals ride the track, and the track ride her vocals. There are no rules here, just feeling.

terry riley in c

Terry Riley – In C

Peter: “My first experience with what would be called minimalism. I was transfixed by the hypnotic sound and fascinated by the structural implications.”

throbbing gristle adrenalin

Throbbing Gristle -Distant Dreams (Part Two)

Nik: “When Gabriel played me the synth line for Beathcombing it reminded me of the same dream like quality of TG’s Distant Dreams Part Two. Journey tones mixed in with a hypnotic undercurrent.”


week 9 – The Saxaphone Liberation Army

The vast stone tablet that contains 20JFG’s ‘things we should really post about’ is running out of room so, if Romero teaches us anything it’s that: when there’s no more room on the tablet, the songs shall be posted on the blog.

Studying with Terry Riley, writing songs with Arthur Russell (who composed and performed on This Hat), having Ned Sublette in your band — pretty much nails Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra to our earphones.  Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra had a compilation of their songs put out by DFA a couple of years ago.  It’s still readily available on CD and we won’t mind if you go grab a copy before continuing.  Got it?  Good.

Our long standing agitation for more wind instruments in dance music hasn’t quite taken hold as we’d like, but we can live in happier times here with an absolutely heroic deployment of the saxophone all over the Love of Life Orchestra’s output, courtesy of Mr Gordon himself.  Where wine bars and shit Jazz would ruin this noble horn, Peter Gordon surrounds it with so much musical muscle that it stares in the face of future snobbishness and throws back the sound that we should revile, in our ungrateful faces.  As an aside, the compilation is brilliantly ordered so the first time the unconverted experience a sax solo it’s resting on a comfortingly electronic throb.  And just when it seems too much, a Branca-like ascending guitar solo arrives to let you know that this is all ok, it’s avant-garde.

Like Arthur Russell, Peter Gordon wasn’t too shabby at making slightly odd, but reverent, disco.  It’s perhaps our absence from publicly inflicting our taste on others that makes the sound of disco take on an added poignancy.  Or maybe because it’s amazing.

Roses on the Disco Floor is a suitably 12″ sized piece of Loft-era disco.  Sprawling, seemingly structured more in movements than the build/drop/build/drop that things evolved into.  With a synth line vacationing from Italia — along with a cooing chanteuse — it’s off to a great start before My Gordon lands with his sax.  And from there it goes sublime.  Given how much Disco wore its emotion on its sleeve, the saxophone, with its tendency to over emote every soaring note seems the perfect fit.  Hell, we nearly bankrupted ourselves putting on James Chance, we’re nothing if not martyrs to the cause.

In any case, it’s below.  You can judge for yourself whether it’s a glorious success or a glorious failure (your tolerance for fromage may vary) but you can’t dare question that it’s glorious.

Peter Gordon & The Love of Life Orchestra – Roses on the Disco Floor

This weekend sees the return of Xanadu to Brighton replete no doubt with more gloriousness.  Our good friend James Hines designed an unofficial poster (below).  Should be good…


The City States of the Mind


As your mind struggles to deal with the philosophical horrors of the singularity, a tree sprouts into view in front of you.  Of Knowledge or Of Life you’re not quite sure, distracted as you are by your synthesised neurones firing off faster than your consciousness can handle.

Diego Garcia – Marcha Albionica

Omar Souleyman – Yagbuni

William Onyeabor – Good Name

Your mind — now massively parallelised between various secret inter-continental locations —  is breaking down in much the same way that a cartoon car does at high speed.  Certain parts are tearing themselves away from your conscious while all the time more trees appear.  And is that a mountain range?

A mystic appears just as your memory of school (aged 13-16) is overwritten by a swap file for the Gutenberg Archives.

“My apologies,” says the mystic, “we weren’t quite prepared for the affect this whole process would have…on your reality…do you see?”

You stare blankly at him/her as you assimilate Sumerian and all recorded material on John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez — at the cost of your ability to regulate your heartbeat.  You didn’t need that anyway.

Mazes – Bodies

Slackk – Silk Robe

“We have made for you this place.”

The trees have formed a forest and the sky is being textured.  The lighting on the mountains still isn’t quite right but the way it currently filters through the leaves is quite beautiful.

Fielded – Eve of a New Moon
“You must wait here.  I will return once we have decided what to do.”

Your feet touch down on the cool damp grass.  Before you is a large stone worn flat.  Atop the stone is a goblet containing what looks like mead.  A few meters behind this is an imposing stone wall.  Set into this wall are a pair of enormous iron gates.

Not Waving – Battle Mountain

Seance Centre – Zatopek

You drink the mead, go here.

You walk through the gates, go here.

2013 References

Illustration by Ricardo Garbini for JLB’s The Circular Ruins which is totally about a rampant AI with amnesia.
Finally, three of our favourite groupings of music people got together to put out this:
Click the names to buy the music: Diego García, Omar Souleyman, William Onyeabor, Mazes, Slackk, Fielded, Not Waving, Seance centre.