Leeds' local Matt Robson has made a name for himself blazing through the scene in acts such as Alisa Craig and the Blanch Hudson. On the ominously titled 'You Cannot Save Your Friends', though, he gives himself a round of applause under his real name, producing a record of zany instrumental music that recalls the glitchy electronica he made under the randomNumber alias. An oddly suppressed coming together of beats and off-kilter melodies, with an odd little roster of contributions too -- including Mick Dale from Embrace -- Robson continues pretty much doing whatever he wants.
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 29 August 2014
Matt Robson, aka The Artist Formerly Known as randomNumber and veteran of many a Leeds band over the years including the Blanche Hudson Weekend and Sierpinski, reappears this week on Squirrel Records with an electronic album under his own name. In contrast to the glitchy awkwardness of his randomNumber output, 'You Cannot Save Your Friends' sees Robson delve into a more upbeat and warm electronica, with nimbly bouncing grooves and brightly chirping synth melodies rubbing shoulders with various live instrumentation over its 10 tracks.
In places it takes quite a post-rockish stance, particularly in 'Faded NE Coastal Town' which is led by some simple melodic guitar twinkles and sad violins, stumbling minimal beats and playful Neil On Impression-esque piano plinking...at its most epic, on opener 'Brave Cursors' which has piano, string samples and string arrangements from Embrace's Mick Dale ("but don't let that put you off", says the press release), there's even a kind of Death In Vegas-ish polished momentum. My favourite moments on here are the more understated ones, 'Long On Grey' in particular has a twisting insectoid grace to its dinky synth pulses and xylophone loops and crackling microbeats. Not bad at all.
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- You Cannot Save Your Friends by Matt Robson
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