Ransom Note Records
TBR: 4th September
It's been a good two years since Hologram Teen last released music and it shows with this seventeen track phenomenon. The beats and melody veteran known for many projects including The Projects and Garden is back and on form with her new sounds. Perhaps most well-known for her keyboardist role in Stereolab, Morgane Lhote has been quick to establish herself as a proficient artist all on her own. The music has a heavy psychedelia twist in its imagery and description, and this works to bracket the theme of catching loose dandelion seeds of sound that whisk through the meadows of the mind. Got one? Make a wish, put it on the album.
With chunky bass beats that shake and rumble on chatty and reverberating drums, the music opens with Elixir Tremolo. It pounds with a feral energy as tribal choral voices sing an uplifting tune. This gives way to a jazzy funk rhythm filled with soulful bass and harmonic bell percussions. Dalston Wizardzz takes us into a compartment of fun and lively happenings. This is followed by Slow Jam Activist. Snare rhythms and skyward whistles enter as a distorted vocal track brings more tribal voices singing in melodic chants. Odd and angular rhythms curdle and bubble around the graceful and loose textures of sound.
A laid back and smooth beat opens out for the next number. Slightly distuned voices frolic with bendy Spanish guitar strumming Caribbean style vibes which warp and bend as if as vinyl on a broken player. Trumpet sounds rise from the summery glow as a rugby player like stature of a local giant wanders in the join the gathering. Samba De Holograma takes us on holiday. More exotic sounds resonate with what comes next. Pan drums create a sunshine melody for Rock Eagle Rock while scratchy violins add a escapist edge. Odd sounds make an appearance which rhythmically make the track more whole.
Sam Samy Sam follows on from the summer-time feel with wobbling repeat melodies that rhythmically enchant before a sliced open vocal sample begins spouting syllables. Bells and notes twang in a unison fashion as odd chord sounds spray sonic fireworks in strange places. This settles down to bring out a room full of spacey drums that rattle and roll like an old school kit. Synthesiser oboe and clarinet blasts deep and resonant notes as strange inclusions of vocal add colourful patterns to the angular backdrop. Move On Hop! is a jigsaw of sound that fits into an awkward yet lucid image.
Toast, Marmite, and Crack begins with a sound collage that throws us off our senses. Groovy beats enter straight away with chunky chords chugging along in mechanical affray. Wandering notes and dripping sounds create an strange corridor of distinctive sounds. Experimental drum rhythms open the next one, dripping it damp reverb, a bass and chime synthesiser add their colourful qualities. Okandjambameya is a neat and twirly number that digs deep with heavy handed bass riffs and interesting additions of vocal. Bongos Over Dyke Slope takes us away from the chaotic mayhem of Hologram Teen's musical mind and into another room, bathed in glowy warm light.
Next, a pulsing blip opens up for a bass driven rhythm serenaded by clapping hands. Cymbals splash with delicate drops before a vocal scat filled with echo drives forward a melodic flow. Reverb and repeats swell like eddying waters as various tones and percussive tones churn through. Cosmogatto bubbles and bounces to a cleverly adapted feedback and rhythm loops. It's replaced by something more organic, as a bass guitar plucks walking notes into a crucible of sound. New synthesiser notes drown out the spaces with viscous sonic cream as thundering drums find a moment to add their voice. Africountry throws us into the thick of activity without the usual tension.
Homegirl Is Brick begins with a jazz rumble of the tom toms and cymbals before a trumpet sound blasts through the open fire-door. Perhaps there is a carnival outside and the indoor stage and drummer are part of the show. Revelers wander in and stand amazed at the luminous decorations surrounding the wurlitzer. This hypnotic and wide-minded number falls back and gives way to some smooth tropical sounding rhythms. Pharaoh For President makes us think of lounging in sunny recliners while well-paid servants flap big leaves for a living. It's not all that bad, as Boombamakao starts with an optimistic vibe. Dreamy drums clamber on little rocks as organs shine in their heavenly timbre.
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Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.