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8/10 Ant Staff review, 12 August 2011
These suckers took a while to arrive at our HQ. I had feared they had vanished into the ether during transit but I can sleep easy now that I finally have a copy on my turntable. You've probably already read a heap of stuff about this record and how it features today's most gifted synth dreamers along with David Borden who put together Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company. Assisted by Robert Moog they were an all synthesizer ensemble - cue updated contemporary take on the format with fresh talent and David looking very distinguished along with the rest of the crew on a very endearing photo that adorns the cover. It must really have been amazing for those guys sharing a studio with him, but the real proof is in the pudding as they say.
The results of the improvisations (at least what is presented on the record) is in many ways a sum of its parts, i.e. you can hear little elements of each artist's style present in the recordings BUT the bigger picture is something entirely different, more refined, of superior sonic fidelity and ultimately a total pleasure to listen to. For me this really is what electronic music is all about; these synthetic dream worlds that can be imagined or vizualized vividly through sound alone. There's an absolutely magnificent track by Chris & Cosey called 'Walking Through Heaven' that makes me think if there is such a place then the audio articulates the title scenario perfectly. This has a very similar utopian fantasy vibe that for its duration offers a gateway into that "other" place/zone where we can forget about all the war, famine, poverty and social unrest in this world and for a brief period escape into total bliss guided by luxurious fluorescent synth-scapes that radiate pure warmth. All five pieces were improvised by the ensemble in various forms and are evidence that electronic music is so much more than electricity flowing through circuits but can very much channel the human spirit when the machines are in the right hands (not the first guys to do that obviously).
The amount of pure synth records coming out now is mind boggling to try and keep up with but this one really does stand head and shoulders above the majority. Housed in tasty oldskool DIY style paste on artwork with the vinyl having a download code and the CD coming with a bonus track. This could very well be hailed as a future classic, who knows? Who cares? Regardless it comes highly recommended.
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