Vinyl LP £23.49 £14.09 LPS139

Ltd LP on Wah Wah. Edition of 500 copies.

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Analog Archives by Mark Jenkins
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8/10 Laurie 23 October 2014

As is the case when music geeks get their hands on a host of classic synthesisers, they're gonna have one hell of an archive to show for the time invested in taming the beasts, along with a haggard beard and newfound eccentricities. Mr. Mark Jenkins must surely be this class of music geek, the tell-tale signs being the proud title Analog Archives and the fact that a "contour generator" has the spotlight on the sleeve. I believe these are all live one-take recordings captured from analog (the instant electronic buzzword) synths, including Moogs and such, and appearing for the first time on wax.

Jenkins accurately describes the general sound on the back as "an odyssey of sonic discovery". These are long, evolving improvisations on various synthesisers all taking turns to play single note drones or repeated melodies with that omnipresent fizz providing some deep aural satisfaction. You can hear the music subtly changing as Jenkins tweaks a knob here and plays a little keyboard line there, all the while probably knowing that some Berlin aficionado will be stroking their chin in wonder. Such modulation! Just listen to the phase shift on that! Yep, I'm one of those aficionados.

To break the synth onslaught up a bit, there are other instruments (?!) dropped in at various points, which is certainly refreshing - the flute on 'Sundown' is a particular highlight but might also be a synth. You just can't tell anymore! There's a guitar part that joins on side A which unfortunately sounds a lot weaker than his synth work, but with the beat and vocoder-driven 'Time's Winged Chariot' on side B, the LP gets right back on track. Stick with the synthesised stuff dude, you're great at it.

Gear nerds will be happy to know that he's included the instruments used on each track, but will be disappointed when they realise that they can't afford any of it. All in all a great kosmik journey through analog (not digital, eww) sounds.



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