John Cale of Velvet Underground moves to downtempo electronica

News  /  Music

Classically trained John Cale served as the scary éminence grise in founding The Velvet Underground — not easy when his partner was Lou Reed. After leaving the band in 1968, Cale shifted into complex orchestral pop and angry punk, but few could have anticipated his latest move in Mercy (Double Six Records), where the 80-year-old Welshman delivers an hour of smooth downtempo dubstep and near-EDM.

Cale opts for partners like Animal Collective and Weyes Blood, providing a haunted quality to tracks like “Time Stands Still” and “Moonstruck” (the latter an ode to his deceased bandmate Nico). The closest the album comes to rhythm is the track “Night Crawling,” but what’s more surprising is that Cale seems happy and at peace, a quality rarely found in 50 years.

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