Devil's Island is not, alas, the unspoilt paradise it once was. A combination of cheap air travel, favourable exchange rates and the unstinting search by Western thrill-seekers for ever newer and more exotic vacation spots has finally resulted in large scale development. The island's setting as the location for the Imaginary Spy Film was an added impetus for investors and property speculators to move in.
But the situation hasn't turned out too badly. The income from tourism and activity generated by offshore tax-haven status has improved the lifestyle of the islanders considerably. The Council of Elders has been able to provide every village with its own fresh water well, natural gas and high-speed broadband. Planning permission has been rejected for mobile phone masts on the 'Devil's Jaws' - the iconic volcano which features on all postcards of the island - and its future has been guaranteed by its designation as an area of outstanding natural beauty and a World Heritage site.
Only the North side of the island has been developed; over on the South side, everything is much as it would have appeared to the first sailors who put ashore here in the years after Christopher Columbus passed by and completely failed to notice it. Safe behind the electric fences which keep tourists well away, the natives are able to continue going about their daily business, hunting, fishing, and creating the delicious but potent local brew, prepared by the womenfolk from fermented mango and snake venom, that powerful inducement for the early seafaring visitors to tarry longer than they intended.
Side 1: Windsynthing [50.06]
The piece itself isn't called Windsynthing because any of it is played on wind-controlled synthesisers, but because it began as a development of the music on an album called Windsurfing (FORG15, 2009) and uses a lot of synthesised sounds.
It contains a number of parts, linked to form a continuous piece, as has become the custom with Devil's Island albums, beginning with an Introduction, New Dawn - a variation on Dawn Chorus from the original Devil's Island Discs album (FORT03, 2004) - reflecting the changes that have befallen the island since we last visited [Return to Devil's Island (FORT07, 2005)].
Part One and Part Two are rhythmic, synth-based tunes;
Part Three and Part Four are classically-oriented pieces involving orchestra, solo piano and broken piano;
Part Five returns to the rhythmic synth-based sound. Featured instruments: two modified Stylophones called The Alien and The Hedgehog, a computer-based instrument called the Cybersynth, which uses the insides of a PC game controller, and a self-built guitar synth, The Harmonizer.
Side 2: One Day on Devil's Island [52.51]
Side Two contains a number of parts, linked to form a continuous piece. The main musical parts are all new versions of previously released tracks, starting with DubIsland, Electric Dawn Chorus, DubTime and Space and Broken Spy Song, based on similarly named tracks from the from the album Devil's Island Discs. These are followed by DubCaravan, based on Caravan, Part 1, co-opted from the album Caravan (FORT10, 2006); and Dub in the Park, based on Sunday in the Park from the album A Walk in the Park (FORT05, 2005).
In DubTime and Space, the words of Professor Stephen Hawking are spoken by
Bruce. DubIsland features the Cracklephone; DubTime and Space features The
Hedgehog and The Touch-Radio; DubCaravan features MIDI guitar.
This is the third album in the Devil's Island Series. If you enjoy
to it, you may also enjoy Devil's Island Discs (FORT03, 2004) and
Devil's Island (FORT07, 2005). These, and the other Andy Murkin albums,
available from www.fortspring.co.uk.
This album has been produced with generous assistance from the Devil's
Return to andymurkin dotcom
This is the third album in the Devil's Island Series. If you enjoy listening to it, you may also enjoy Devil's Island Discs (FORT03, 2004) and Return to Devil's Island (FORT07, 2005). These, and the other Andy Murkin albums, are available from www.fortspring.co.uk.
This album has been produced with generous assistance from the Devil's Island Tourist Board.
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