Monday 11 April 2022

Getting 'round to it

Hey again, I'm back again with the first of hopefully a few instalments this week. This one has been baking for a while - I've been making note of specific tracks that I'd like to talk about but don't necessarily fit in with whatever I have writing at that moment. What I do is wait for a fair few of them to pile up and then put them all together in an odds & ends post like this. Despite the method behind the madness, these ones are actually fairly cohesive in terms of sound as you'll see - let's have a look!

Neil Welliver - Night Scene (1982)

Starting with a deep dive into the Warp archives here with a little compilation called The Theory Of Evolution. A little backstory first though: In the early days of working from home I went on a deep dive of interviews and such to have on in the background, one of them I ended up putting on was of Warp co-founder Steve Beckett at the Red Bull Music Academy. It's a very interesting talk in general but there was one bit that caught my ear: Steve's response to any signings that they missed out on. He calls on Mark Pritchard (who is conveniently in the crowd, and also would eventually end up on Warp anyway), saying that his first album as Reload - A Collection Of Short Stories should have been part of the Artificial Intelligence series.

Which is true, the album is very much of the same kind of philosophy behind that series after all - some tracks from it would appear on this compilation a couple of years later. The compilation itself is a bit of a mixed bag in all honesty, but this has gotten long enough already so I'll save it for another post. The real highlight of the bunch is the Chameleon remix of Amazon Amenity, a delicious slice of Drum & Bass in the middle of the tracklist. Not quite the same as the Artificial Intelligence stuff, but not a million miles away in terms of the theory behind it.

Next, we revisit The Flashbulb for the first time in ages. I feel like I bring up Flashbulb a lot, but it's normally as a point of comparison with other artists (which to be fair, is very useful due to the sheer variety over the Flashbulb discography) - so its high time I saw to make that right. I've gone with track 2 from Love As A Dark Hallway, which rather interestingly on Bandcamp has different album art for each track which is nice. This one blindsided me about a week or so ago after coming up on shuffle, I live for those moments when a song comes back into your life after a long absence and it's almost as sweet as the first time, such is the case with Pastorial Whiskers. It is lovely - to reverse the record and play comparisons for The Flashbulb, there's streaks of μ-Ziq here, but by far and away the closest comparison I could make is the kind of stuff Squarepusher was making for Hello Everything, there's also plenty of Squarepusher-esque Bass work on this one too if the album art didn't tip you off. Lovely stuff.

And finally, something new. I haven't been up to date on new releases for a long long time now, but thanks to the magic of Bandcamp I have a better handle on it than before! Gimmik has been a bit of a mainstay recently after finding his and other former Toytronic artists on Bandcamp, really it's just nice to see people still making my favourite style of IDM into the modern era. Omicron Acid, as the name might suggest, sounds like a bit of a departure at first listen (and not particularly Acid either). Stick with it though, and around a minute in some lovely spacey touches emerge to counterpoint the punchy kicks. The Acid doesn't really show up until 2:50 but it doesn't disappoint, I'll never complain about a swift delivery of 50ccs of 303, doubly so when it is mixed with the hi-tech lushness that is everything else. It is my favourite of the two versions available, which is curiously listed as 'name your price' on Bandcamp, so you could theoretically get it for free (at least as of the time of writing)

And that'll be all for today, as I mentioned up top I do have a couple of other posts planned for this week - another like this one and hopefully finishing up a quite long one that's been sat on the back-burner for far too long. Based on my thoughts about the Evolution compilation it might be time to revive the Retro Reviews as well. But I stray from the point, not a bad start for this week, I hope you like each of these selections as much as I do and until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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