Psychedelic Brit popsters XTC will emerge from its six-year, self-imposed recording silence when a four-disc box set of live material, entitled "Transistor Blast," arrives in stores on November 3. In January the group plans to release the first of two new studio albums slated for 1999.Material for the "Transistor Blast" set collects over 50 tracks dating back to BBC Radio sessions held in 1977, and include concert recordings from a 1980 show at London's Hammersmith Palais as well as several songs taken from a mid-'80s appearance on BBC's In-Concert program. As for their new studio efforts, XTC has described the sound of its first new release to be that of an acoustic-based orchestral record, while the Swindon, England group says the second new album, which is tentatively due out in Fall 1999, will possess XTC's more-familiar vintage pop sound. As we previously reported (see "XTC Hooks Up With TVT, Plans New Studio Album"),
XTC recently inked a U.S. deal with a new label and reconvened to start work on its first album since 1992's "Nonsuch."A 19-song retrospective, "Upsy Daisy Assortment" was released in 1997, and XTC frontman Andy Partridge helped co-write a song, "Blow You Away," with the Verve Pipe for this summer's "Avengers" soundtrack.