TBR: 15th January
After a series of highly enjoyable EP releases, Glasgow's No Arrival has produced a splendid full-length episode of his groundbreaking music. A masterpiece of fusion between guitars and electronica, the work symbolises a state of mind that makes its domain in the consciousness of these novel times. Exploratory and multi-dimensional, No Arrival creates new and fascinating areas of sonic geography.
It begins with a thundering of drums that bounce in rhythmic jostles. Synthesiser begins to swish and coil within the projection of sound as more vibrant and damp percussion pushes through. Melodic motifs jingle in reverberating narrow passages as mechanical like rhythms chug in abstract uniformity. In Soul is a busy place, yet taken at a saunter as to allow the moments to exist without rush.
The sound of distant people mixes with strange blips and chimes. Chased By Cows takes us to a crowd of excited people while a dreamy consciousness blankets the energy to a muffle. Evocative and journeying sounds sparkle through steady and intelligent pulses of drum. As the music evolves, a familiar stringed instrument begins to create an impressionist jig that circles and skips through the tallness of the surrounding tones.
It sounds like an engine is starting before chimes and plunging drums scatter tones and percussion in multiple directions. Metallic thumps with tubular sonics ring out as sticks strike stone and skin. Throaty motions of swallowed sound plummet in dripping corridors as spinning-top like mixing continually adjusts focus. Hammers strike padded steel and lustrous timbre folds into packaged caverns. Animal Sister digs deep and resolves subtle kinesis.
Next an open space pierces the moment as deep squeaks meet sunken bells. Zaps spray energetic forms into angular zeniths which disorientate and realign the centre. Slow Dawning creeps up with grace and abstraction. Swishing reeds and engineered self-expression form ghosts among shipwrecks and sleepy waters. Odd sounds permeate an epic spaciousness as fragmented rhythms strike tapestries into shifting peats.
A smooth and bountiful string is plucked on the bass with a walking style amble. Melodic frills grow from the two or three notes it begins with, harmony layers with every available dimension. Fractional beats pin-point unique vectors within the spacious sound of bass and smokey shapes. A sudden twist of hard material unleashes a sonic burst of broken potential, a repolarisation of effect takes place and allows the sensation of music to leap like freshly aired fire. Partial Face almost shows us the whole, and knowing glances suggest a secret hidden behind quality silks and thread. It then switches to a flowing dance, a coiling glide into emotions and dream. As the hypnotic array of beats float upon howling euphorics the track builds with abstraction and outside noises which gently push the illusion this way and that.
The Orange Antagonist zaps into our presence as humanist drums begin a slow heartbeat pulse. Creaking floorboards and disparate strings line crooked halls with perspective assistance. Footsteps and blood surge through endless labyrinthine gestures of ticking clocks and tension. It's a dreamy and voiding persistence through illusory mayhem held at arms reach with the power of just one finger.
Shakers and dappled notes spring forth on waves of uplifting intentions. A breezy sensation swishes through the static hairs, levitating with strange universal energy. A summery seaside scene forms in my mind while backdrops of thick forest span into uncountable hills beyond. A neat little fence is gated and seeing it has no lock, we are able to wander into the thicks. Pine Up Front could mean pine leaves and cones, or perhaps the scent of the wood as it permeates dense and narrow-gauge air corridors.
A damp and eerie movement of abstract organic flux motions within deep body maps as sullen bells start a muted tempo. Expressions in regular portions reveal method as squashing background sounds squeeze with tonal compression. Warm piano-bar notes occasionally add distance between us and the oddity as humming pulsations rise with evermore unformulated sound orchestration. Influx builds slowly, with nowhere to go but down, we step into underground chambers that glisten with luminous mycelia.
A sudden flurry of chattering rhythmics pound in with bouncy sponge and tempered energy. Sheering noises emerge from frantic distances as kinesis dances with knot-like uniformity. The twisting layers of intermixing sounds carve lines in an icy lake surface as nearby trees rain clumps of dusty snow. Feel See expresses a lively and ethereal moment of human enjoyment. It finishes with two people talking, expressing their love of life.
The Last Embrace rings in like a bleak October morning as epic mists sweep in from shuddering rocks in a distending milieu. Listening intently, tapping sounds and metallic clanks bring home a sense of labour and toil while hot synthesiser drifts in like the shine from open furnaces. Infra-red technology blanks a portion of vision as intense radiance crosses between individual parts of the bigger machine.
With a slim sounding bell, the final umber breathes into being. Twisting sounds and tapping percussion scatter the energy into various dimensions, like a polygonic star that spins on multiple axes. Blues guitar sways in on bendy beams as chords and melody bounce in wide and warm areas. Drums then open out like sticky windows and sudden air changes allows sunlight to break from its dulled shine.
You can get your copy of Converse by No Arrival on Bandcamp
Find out more about Bricolage Records
Out: 29th November
General Release: 11th January
Let's take a trip back to the beginning of the month when Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's Malcolm Galloway released a brand new solo work on Bandcamp. Not afraid to push the boat out, this side-project takes a whole new direction. Utilising his dab-hand with the studio and its technology, Malcolm Galloway produces moving and energetic electronic compositions. This single establishes a vein that began in the thread of his previous album, which no-longer stands quite so alone. This award-winning musician and his headline-grabbing music work together to continue the journey into artistic sound destinations.
With an ensemble of phonics on horn and string, the classical swish of orchestrated pleasure generates its mood. Splatterings of bell reminisce while dappled notes form a spongy bed. Abstraction greets form and beauty in a shimmering dance of juxtaposition in emotion. Raindrops of harmony scatter through twisting clouds which strain against the natural flow of the sky. A musical adventure unfolds as new horizons shape themselves in hidden moments now alive. Terrain awash with poignant humdrum and peaks of interest fly past in moments of photographic charm. This is Chrysalis and it's like the birth of a flying fraction of the universe incarnate. Building molecules together according to predetermined instructions in order to experience the life of a separate individual.
Next is Wasp 76b. This starts like a daydream, piano-like tones dance and fluoresce within neat corners that are enchanted by mirrors. As extra dimensions spill from the narrow perspective and the seemingly eternal quality of light, passages and perspectives align themselves according the the fundamental portioning system within space and time. A masterpiece of progression, the music gradually forms new layers and platforms within, from which fountains of sound are able to flourish. Sparkling melody and lively harmonics joyously adorn a smooth tempo with quick and spritely compositions. A wave of sound builds as it travels through the bars and atop the body of kinesis sits a continually changing scene of exchange and complimentary adjustment.
We are talking a decent 20 minute release despite there being two tracks. This phenomenal and room-filling sound knits together a soundscape which tingles the mind while letting it wander into its own agenda. Not too little, not too much.
Go ahead and get your copy of Wasp 76b by Malcolm Galloway on Bandcamp
Crown Jewel EP
Out 11th December
Bursting onto the electronic music scene with their first release is Shaytoon Records. Being a Farsi word for Little Devil, the headline act and director of the label Sepehr wants to acknowledge the Iranian-American culture. Sepehr describes Iran as a country that has fallen prey to global discrimination and which is made to look terrible in the Western media. Having a passion to right this wrong through the medium of music, Shaytoon Records is set to break boundaries and bindings. This record has been designed to emulate and support the sensations and feelings surrounding the underground Iranian cultures who enjoy the good things behind a field of differing ideals.
It begins with Cloak of Flames. Vibrant and resonating drums throb in organic timbre as bells and chimes twinkle and evaporate with various piercing pitches. A bass lunges as rhythm opens with shakers as the bass droplets continue to drip like rain from a cavernous ceiling. More bass brings a kinetic vibe as scraping sounds merge with the flux of percussion. Then, synthesiser with wavery tones begins to cast magical melodics around in circular and staggered motions. Strange and ethnic sounds permeate the air as familiar beats pound with oddly warming phonics. Puffy bass and windy streaks of tone dance in drifts around a steady and invigorating collection of drums and cymbals.
A quicker bass pumps out for track two, this title number grabs us with spacey synthesiser blurts and fast moving kick. Hats begin to double time the bass drum which opens a pathway for a bouncing bass to gradually form. The rubbery and pliable tone rumbles as synthesiser melodies begin raining down in close scales. Repeating noises and short rhythm loops give a compressed sensation before a more stretched out melody form strikes a comet-tail across the uniform arena. Extra layers of interesting rhythmic shape are jigsawed in, their pieces finding nestling spots in seemingly predestined corners.
A rumbling series of bass drums opens the new track. A small metallic jingle creates another dimension to the deep and resonant jive. Then, a fizzy electronic bass begins to pulse in a marching pace as effected spoken word vocals add poetry to the flow. Dirty hats and shakers then collide with the mix, forming a bubbling froth which spills over the mix like whipped cream and powdered cocoa. Slow and introspective journeys traverse through a quicker and hypnotic progression of bass and drum. Slow meandering synths are then found to dance like night animals in rays of light from a fatted full moon. Head To The Sky asks us to look up and wonder.
Jazzy tones warble in sunny motifs as muted kick thrusts a fast-paced direction through ample cushioning. A sudden deep and reaching voice then shudders with the words of the track's title. The Night Is Young. This is destined for the dance floor. Walking tones then draw squiggly lines with jagged edges in various 3D shapes positioned within the squared area portrayed by the pounding drums, cymbals, and bass. Expert musical flow gives a fantastic energy that invites movement and expression as tones and sonic outbursts form heady and dramatic interludes.
This far-reaching and intelligent EP finishes on Riposte. A thundering of hand-drum style percussion joins a windy valley of breath-like synthesiser. Cool passages of air vibrate and invite us beyond the boundary and inside the room. Here, the mechanics of drum and sound are focused and surround us in mysterious energy. A quick and kinetic hat and snare centres on the loop which provides another platform height for new sounds to flow from and discover harmonies within disparate melody.
You can follow Sepehr on Facebook
You can listen to Sepehr on Soundcloud
Buy Crown Jewel EP on Bandcamp
Insult To Injury Records
Out: 20th November
This newest Timothy Clerkin EP has been wandering around for about a month now, and it's about time we gave it listen. Insult To Injury are a subdivision of Ransom Note Records that wants to specialise in the most fired-up dancing sounds. This EP includes a remix from the fashionable Berlin and New York resident False Witness. With a clear motivation to move to the music and a compositional clarity that reveals depth and splendour, this recent Clerkin will be on many decks during '21 and beyond.
The title track begins with a slime dirty bass that fizzes with distortion on a single note. Bouncing string meets steady snare and a tempo is gathered like thorny flowers. Hats are added along with pounding kick, before keyboards begin swaying and jostling with interesting sonics. A drum-fill sounds a wind-down and brings on a solitary melodic solo before the drumming gradually rejoins the mix. A wave like motion of musical energy repeats alongside various keyboard harmonies and scattering tones. As each revolution of the energy passes by, new and ever more dimensions to the track are added at just the right moments.
Wilderness opens with an expanse of tone and luminous melody. Shimmering sounds reverberate along deep and reaching strings before a thrashy rhythm breaks. Snare and bass rumble in steady and up-tempo loops as dreamy and imaginative music floats like skyfishes shoaling above our heads. Pulsing synthesiser rides and dances on floors of stretching harmony that ensures a major and introspective combination of notes.
The False Witness remix of Hatred emerges as the third chapter. A crackling sound bursts open with a thumping beat that's built on snare and bass. The long winded intro rhythm marks the intention of this number. It's a full to the brim dance track. Frothing and expanding synthesiser rises and overflows the containment of percussion as new and wide sounds grow from the powerful tempo. The build-up provides ample time to move and entrance each other with strobe-lighting and smoke machines.
The EP ends with Little Island Syndrome. This track begins with an odd whining synthesiser that's buffed up under hissing and odd bumping bass tones. A voice begins to speak over a tannoy like system. It's unclear what it says, it's like a memory or a dream. Robotic and distorted resonance binds with metallic timbre as more strange yet fascinating synthesiser snakes forward. Buzzing tones list and lean through tapestries of peculiarity. Then, as the music finds it's feet, a rain of arpeggio and sunshine bass scatters down on the now fertile and well-prepared ground.
Find music by Timothy Clerkin on Bandcamp
Follow Timothy Clerkin on Facebook
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.