Out 31st August
Celebrating four years as a record label, Glasgow's very own Bricolage Records have put out a brilliant various artist release. Featuring a spectrum of talent from within the city itself, the release is titled as the dialling code for Glasgow. With each artist having a potential phone number that begins with 0141, it's a perfect title to highlight the city's home grown skills. Music from Bricolage explores the deeper and atmospheric side of electronic music production. Less dance and more dream, stitching this collection of musicians together, Bricolage unveil a joint hallucination as we peel back the time to explore their sonic sculptures.
Opening with Chambers from Iain Bethel, tubular synthesiser sounds span out across choral undertones. Steps of melody sprinkle glittering tones across a gradually building scenery. As trees grow and hillsides roll into view on the close horizon, it's as if a mist is fading to reveal the first sonic architecture. Like waking up in a new realm, somehow familiar yet unlike anything we know, the glowing transition gives us a new lease of life in a fantastical destination. Then, piano begins to speak. The slight echo on the notes dapple like struggling sunlight in dusty corridors. Are we going underground? Something about the glowing crystal walls signifies a deeper sense of majesty.
Following on is a windy and whistling atmosphere, it crackles in a digital static while natural tones froth in a sheltered eddy. A tension grows, allowing the stillness to spread out in a coalitionist canter through ample space. Glorious rainbows of sonic colour decorate the sides as a deeper harmony bellows forward through the centre. Splattered with happy paintings and spring flowers, a radiance of the soul feels like it's attempting to burst out of an awkward egg. Lay Still Beneath The Pylons by Broken Form digs in to a spiritual sense of electromagnetism, perhaps connected to material when within the scope of travelling charge.
Thousand Wolves' Polygon or Primitive opens with a spoken word sample alongside digital fuzz and distortion. We hear poetry over a slightly out of tune radio while meaningful musical tones spill their own story tastes across the palette. Dreamy rain windows open with mist sketches that trickle their detritus into the previous images, now distorted and with running lines, seeping into abstraction and speculation. New sounds jostle in, drums delicate like added spices bring a neat hold-on for us while the swirling and melancholy music drapes our surroundings. Extra percussion finds its way through, nestling itself among the fizzing sounds and dancing undertones. This all breaks down to let in a summery glow, a guitar starts to play the blues over chiming pads and playful cymbal strikes. Pot drums give a wholesome edge to the music as the music unravels into pleasant realms of care-free rumination.
Fourth in, a break of rapid drumming starts a whole new tempo. Subtle blips and wobbling tones grow into floral bouquets of sound while shakers and drums gather their high energy repetitions. A vocal sample pushes in, asking us to trust our own intuition when we cannot see the way forward. The drums increase their power as yet more looping rhythms are layered over the top. The culmination is an insisting pressure to motivate the mind. Scattering tones decorate the underside while the punchy and uplifting surge of rhythm keeps us on our toes. Fragile X brings Losing Dreams To Sleep, a curious title perhaps pointing to metaphor. More sampled vocals break the hypnosis. It sounds like Alan Watts, reminding us to not fight our body when it doesn't do what we want. This in turn makes way for more synthesisers, wailing notes push vibrant energy into the space above our heads.
Nerotic by Justin Case is up now. It begins with bouncy tubular drums that shimmer with deep resonance. Snares and cymbals add their flavour to the mix while twangy bass tones begin to dictate a melodic flow. Funky and driving forces break with the ocean surge to surf on waves made of ever rising currents. New angles and perspectives with loud and harsh edges make sudden entrances while the music smashes around us. This fades to bring on a whooshing sound, swinging past our ears. Synthesiser hits begin a tempo, the dancing pace brings out a forward push with drums and bass that compliment each side of the coin. It's a sporadic and jumpy number, full of interesting vibes which often take us by surprise. Extra umph in the heavy and digging bass-line that follows leads the track into brambly avenues and leafy glades.
Deep, spacious drums pound out in a tribal melody. Odd perspectives on metal-work and a funky bass-line prepare us for a new layer of percussion. A fast-paced and uplifting drum-beat gently unfolds to bring a higher state of being in the mix. Dialling tones and chewy bass glisten in to fill a void left in the wake of the previous movement. The drums begin again, and now they're joined by these new fractals of musicality. Swirling around maypoles and merry-go-rounds, the revolving loops are complimented again and again by sonic shifts and tectonic rumbles which jiggle the scenery. Whistling elements and tapping drums beats keep an ember glowing while a calmness washes through the track's hair. Now, as a warmth and elevating energy builds once more, the wholesome nature of the progression is given another free run in the upward direction. Esef's Viral is a great up-beat introspective journey.
Time Span by C4 opens with more vocals. This time, we're listening to an American woman explaining what sounds like psychology. Ghostly wails and haunting chimes scatter in the thickness of air as diffracting wavelengths travel at differing speeds. A new drum, fast and inspired by drum n bass rhythms smashes in. In an explosive likeness to the artist's name, the synths and rhythms spiral in outward surges of excess energy. Culminations of intense sonics and percussive thrust peak and curl like oncoming tidal-waves bound for deep in shore valleys. Craziness is held down by tight bonds of strapping clarity which penetrate misty and crumbling elevations with neatly notched buckles.
We are shoved into a new higher gear as the next track breaks free. Huge rampant bass and drumming thrashes forward in a massive surge of sonic energy. Sonic breakdowns and fizzing power gradually overturn the initial flow to make room for a drive of snare and tom-tom. These increase in velocity until they become a single tone of percussion, then a snaking melody of yet more drums begins to twist in the rushes. Behind this, a penetrating and subtle sub-bass pounds on air-drums that penetrate our chest. No Arrival's Nudge is a spooky place, it's exciting too and filled with interesting angles of waveform and frantic directions. Glitching and hard-core coolness make this a track which breaks any ice in its way.
Next is X from Ly Tumnus. It begins with reversed notes that speak of a distant realm. Building bass and resurgent tones flavour steady drumming to unravel a slow and dreamy wander through almost disturbing chapters. A new melody pushes through on a barrage of rushing air. Perhaps a little sad, yet hopeful for the future, the music escapes a previous cell and aims to fill the entire available space. Pressure releases and churning melody creates buoyant alleyways which all lead to the same backlit projection of now. Where do we stand in this forest of nocturnal sound and backward dynamics? Where-ever we are, it creates a mystery that we can all enjoy.
A more delicate sound wafts from the speakers as Danni Rowan's Heck begins. An airy synthesiser becomes ghosts and phantoms while a distant drum grows in the foreground. Tapping rhythm marks out footsteps through an eerie soliloquy wrapped in mirrors and looping atmosphere. Is there a right way to go, or do we just enjoy the experience? As the corridor widens out, and the reflectivity fades into blankness, a heartbeat in time to the footsteps keeps us going through the pitch.
Track eleven begins with a space-age warble of energy. It dissipates into vapour as a strange sound breathes out. Another burst of sci-fi energy allows a steady paced drum beat of abstract percussion to break free for just a moment. Then, more ambience in silence stitched with sonic experiments and astral complexity. These things take time, as a crunching wave of dystopia destroys all in its path, yet more silence ensues. Odd noises and skin-tingling sensations sculpt the airwaves as a siren begins to churn out its universal message. Has something happened to the software? A strange bend in the pitch makes us wonder if it's a particular message being communicated. Kill Them With Noise brings an experimental and unique composition with UR.GU.LA, utilising unpredictability and rests as part of the sound construction.
A gorgeous piano melody opens for the next number. Finish What You Started lights a hearth on another plane for us while the warming notes conjure a progressive melody that functions as much more than a solitary instrument. As echoes of the previous tracks reverberate in our memory, the oceanic delivery of notes swell and surge through motions similar to nature itself. Wullae Wright shows us a mastery of the keyboard. Lost in jumpy and almost ad-lib composition, we drift along helpless to the flow of the music.
Finalising the work is a euphoric synthesiser motif. Sunken chords dress a catchy drum as plucked notes drift alongside multicoloured flags. When the synthwave bass-line unleashes its energy, a brilliance of melody shines out as chorded sound structures cast magical incantations across realms of wide open canyons. Blippy notes and drawn out sustain hold hands while a steady and easy-going rhythm dictates the mood. When The Rain Comes Down by Dreamland Fantasy ends the album on an evocative high.
A truly remarkable set of mixes from Bricolage, Glasgow's musical talent pool is undoubtedly rising from the depths. A premiere album chock-a-block with interesting and exciting music, 0141 has something for electronic fans from all corners of the art. It's a brilliant way to recognise the four great years so far since Bricolage began what they were always meant to do.
Royalty from this record is destined for staff at the ICU in the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank, Glasgow. Medical professionals are unsung heroes so get one for them.
As always you can find Bricolage Records on Facebook
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
Thanks for supporting the documentation of underground electronic sounds!
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