CD £7.49 BFCD037
CD on Brainfeeder.
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Double LP £16.49 BF037
2LP on Brainfeeder.
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This album is the masterwork of 22-year-old Brit Stewart Howard, the first UK resident on Brainfeeder and an album which really bodes well for the future. Yep some of the sounds or those in vogue Flying Lotus flamming or witch-house weirdness but it’s expertly done. Howard straddled the cliff-edge of experimentation and listenability, theres always a sonic trick up his sleeve but he induces the sweet cut and paste hip hop soul used by everyone from Madlib to J Dilla to Bibio.
The music contained within is both interesting and confusing and has a wonderfully sprawling lopsided nature. The opening ‘Iamsys (tape intro)’ is lovely, a skewed, screwed piece of lolloping electronica halfway between Machine Drum and Flying Lotus, gorgeous synths, ethereal voicing flanging in and out of the mix to stunning effect. ‘Guurl’ opens with a lovely washed out synth line, the vocodored voice is a slight irritant. Things go really lopsided on ‘Kelly Brook’; a series of electronic squeaks, Stevie Wonder like high-pitched synths and disembodied soul voices all sounding like they are tumbling off a cliff at the same time, the chaos giving way to an excellent slow-hop snare drum.
‘One Thing’ is relatively conventional in comparison, a staggering drum loop is joined by a sweet female voice and a wonderfully fat buzzy bassline. ‘Swallowing Smoke’ uses a more straightforward 4/4 rhythm using up all the sonic tricks, slowed down heavily affected dreamy vocals and synths galore. Terrific stuff at times but christ, what a terrible title! Just awful - where do they get them from?
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