Wednesday 25 August 2021

In The Queue

Mel Bochner - Rules of Inference (1974)

Hey all, just another quick post with a rundown of things that are as the title says, in my queue. Starting with a fairly recent addition - the Celebrating Aphex Twin show on BBC Radio 6 (That link should let you listen, but you might have to be in the UK though and sign in/up, but you can see the tracklist in text on the page - and it'll only be available for 20 days as of this post as well!) from a few days ago was pretty great and managed to squeeze a decent amount of variety in there beyond just back-to-back AFX.

An early highlight is Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan with Gateway To The North. If the album art didn't already tip you off, this is more in the vein of Boards Of Canada than it is AFX - replacing the tinges of Americana that BoC with a full-on British version. I have to admit, based on the title of the album and everything else, it does come across as trying a little too hard at first - the tunes themselves are great though. When Gateway To The North gets going around the 30 second mark it's lovely - while it is evocative of BoC it doesn't completely rip them off, there are echoes of Oneohtrix Point Never's early work in there as well with the analogue arpeggio making up the main body, a little like the Tron Legacy soundtrack as well now I think about it. Annoyingly, it's one of those bandcamp releases that doesn't let you preview all of the tracks, but if the rest of it is anything like this I'm sure I'll love it.

Speaking of previews, I decided to check in with Ocoeur again after bringing him up not too long ago - today we're talking the upcoming LP from him called Connections. It's always interesting to see which tracks get chosen as previews for an album, they can change wildly in sound from one track to another and that goes double for the kind of electronic that N5MD usually works with. From the two preview tracks on offer: Opposite Sides and title Connections, the experience seems to be a lot more delicate than the earlier albums I have in my collection.

A marked movement away from the glitchy electronics of Light As A Feather, though still with a hint of that roughness of those previous releases as well (most prominently on the title track Connections). But that's not a complaint from me - Ocoeur's melodies remain as beautiful as ever on both the sample offerings here. I've gone with Opposite Sides as my pick as it very much feels like an intro track (though according to the page it's actually the second). At the risk of repeating myself from the previous paragraph, if the rest of the album is at all like the small glimpse we've been given so far, I will very much like it.

And finally returning to something a little more local with a bit more from Ceiling Demons. It's been a while since the last time but they've returned with a new full length slated for a little later this year. Perks of the job mean I've had the privilege of hearing the full thing, but the rest of you'll have to wait until the full thing comes out on the 22nd. Snakes & Ladders makes a strong impression from the get go with the folky All Let Go heading things up, reminiscent of an old drinking song, complete with violin accompaniment. It's not long before returning to more familiar Hip Hop ground on track 2, Let The Currents Carry You Home. With a slight Jazzy feel that reminds me of Weekend World-era E-Z Rollers (albeit with a slower tempo) and it's catchy shout along chorus continue that strong impression.

I'd say it's an emotionally charged record, but then again truth is that all the Demons' releases so far have been - for Snakes & Ladders this comes to a boil on Freedom Fighting Dystopia (which is also our first hearing of Lee "Scratch" Perry(!) on this record - more on that later), stripped back to a lone guitar and some frankly cathartic delivery, culminating in the two accelerating to destruction in the final quarter - the vocals do a fantastic job keeping pace with the rising tempo until it's just not possible anymore too.

I could go on, but I best save it for A) When it actually comes out and B) When you can actually hear what I'm talking about as well. Couple final points before I leave it: there's a great Eastern influence (ironically) on the instrumentation of Dust Of The North and my favourite is the gentle treatment on the main Lee "Scratch" Perry feature and closing track Reprise Of Light. Until then though, here is one of the two previews From The Womb To The Grave.

One final note before I wrap up, Snakes & Ladders is on Bandcamp twice but with good reason: cheaper shipping rates on the physical releases if you're in the USA! The link for the USA Bandcamp page is here - and just for redundancy's sake the EU / UK one is here as well. And that'll do it for this round, time got away from me a little bit again, but you can pretty much expect future posts to kind of be on this schedule for a while - they might even become sparser in the coming weeks because things will be getting busier IRL. But until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


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