1. Houston 69: The Crash Landing I [5:41]
  2. London: Sense Of Doubt [2:48]
  3. Kyoto: Kyoto #3 [2:55]
  4. XXXXX: La Ville Sans Nom [4:05]
  5. Home: Ruitor [4:00]
  6. New York: West Side [3:39]
  7. Paris: Beautiful May [7:17]
  8. Keflavik: The Whale Dance [3:04]
  9. Houston 69: The Crash Landing II [4:31]
  It’s the start of the eighties, and Richard Pinhas changes direction to produce a tuneful, highly accessible album which has an almost sunny atmosphere, certainly compared to predecessor "Iceland". The change in direction can perhaps be taken literally, because the track-titles indicate some sort of trip around the world, presumably to widen his musical horizon.
It’s a more synthesizer-oriented, less guitar-oriented album with plenty of sequencers and some beautiful melodies. It also contains the only occurrence in Pinhas’ oeuvre of an actual pop-song in the form of ‘West Side’, which wouldn't be far out of place on a Human League album, say.
In terms of other musicians contributing, it’s again the old mates like SF-author Norman Spinrad doing voices and various former Heldon members doing their stuff (making the hectic ‘Houston 69’ the only track faintly resembling earlier Pinhas music).
Georges Grunblatt also makes a return to the Pinhas fold after five years, playing Polymoog on two tracks, one of which (‘Ruitor’) has that touch of genius in its simple but striking design.
‘Beautiful May’ really manages to evoke those nostalgic memories of hometown Paris whilst ‘The Whale Dance’ is an equally melancholic sort of piece, featuring a nice piano-arrangement in the background. To conclude: "East/West" is a relatively extrovert and spirited album, Richard Pinhas displaying his obvious pleasure in music-making without the neurotics and introvert philosophizing of most of his seventies stuff. However, on a more everyday human level there’s still that streak of thoughtfulness running through it, thus making the music more enduring from the listener’s point of view.
2000. © Ivar de Vries