This must be the zaniest ever NM track, yet strangely that's not a criticism. It's one of the better tracks on Warp, yet the unquestionable 'experimental' nature of "Green and Red..." means you do have to listen to it in a different way.
It's a 'full on' studio instrumental (except for two words), 'describing' two colours, the song being divided into two distinct sections. "Green" is introduced in a very enveloping, spacious voice - like Tony is right there in both speakers. It's a very percussive piece - fast and quirky - yet still featuring some classic piano-like 'stabs' and reversed synth. And, further on, some uncharacteristically crazy keyboard sounds! The mood changes at the
2.05 mark. Steel drums and percussive effects take centre stage, driven firmly home (almost aggressively) to a simple and insistent, repetitive rhythm, with a backdrop of choral synth building up an atmosphere of tension and trepidation.
And then... A very sudden and unexpected stop.
I like to compare this one with The Office. The Office has a solid structure whereas this one seems to completely ambient, almost like he had several ideas written on pieces of card, shuffled the deck and dealt out 5 cards, then recorded the piece. Green for start and red for stop is the only bit of this song that makes sense. Still, it's alright.
With so much of NM's music being a zenith, there must be a nadir and for me this is it. I can find few redeeming features in this track, other than it being by NM.
The pounding beat is overwhelming, in a bad way. Plenty of reverse quirkiness, but it's weird quirky rather than enjoyable quirky. The percussion introduced as the track nears its (thankfully short) life sounds random to the point of accidental.
"Book-ending" the track with "green" and "red" is about the best part of it, but even that's diluted by the poor indexing on the CD. Being instrumental, I presume this has a lot of Clive's input but it's a far cry from the 'The Office' (some elements occasionally sound like 'The Office' in reverse). No lush melodics, no hook, no spark. It sounds hollow, empty. And, at the risk of repeating myself, the percussion sounds completely out of context and, even worse, hugely dated.
Basically, it can only get better from here. 'Planet' is next; surely normal service will be resumed? ;-)
Factoid: It's actually Simon Croft saying Green / Red. This was confirmed by Simon himself. Also, Tony M asked him to say Red, then Green. Then swapped them round, hence the unusual inflection.