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Bugskull is the recording project of Sean Byrne who makes experiments based in electronic and shoegaze. Releasing records scarcely and sporadically, 'Collapsed View' is the first record since 'Strange Mountain', and takes a different tack from its acoustic vibe: it mixes propulsive IDM with feedback-drenched guitar and psychedelic influences, occasionally dabbling in Byrne's old acoustic world. 'Collapsed View' is the sign of a focused Byrne interested in slow and hypnotic melodic developments. It gets noisy, sometimes.

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  • DigiV068
  • DigiV068 / LP on Digitalis

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Collapsed View by Bugskull 1 review. Add your own review. 8/10
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8/10 Staff review, 28 August 2014

The rarely-spotted Bugskull pokes his head above the parapet once more with his first proper album in five years on Digitalis. 'Collapsed View' is a dreamlike mixture of drifty ambient electronica, hazy shoegaze and tripped out sampledelica, mixing shuffly mid-paced beats with strangely distant, flickering drones and soft, slow melodic progressions.

The eight tracks here generally err on the ambient side of things, but on occasion he plays around with more abrasive tones, most notably on the headily psychedelic 'Icarus Rising' which pairs strange backwards beats with a shuddering distorted guitar wail which twiddles and feeds back in single-minded squeals. Some numbers, like 'Demapped' and opener 'Heaven/California' have a stumbling sample-heavy wistfulness to them which reminds me of Ela Orleans's more experimental pieces, but with a slick cinematic quality that brings to mind Craig Armstrong's more electronic work, especially the sadly blooping modular synth on the former track.

The dense electro acoustic textures of the almost Popol Vuh-ish 'Druids' are also making me feel very, very relaxed. It's impressive stuff throughout, drifty but not all smudged-up with reverb, allowing the listener to fully immerse themselves in the graceful electro acoustic textures and laguorous melodies.


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