Middlesborough's experimental lover of loops and lo-fi, Oliver Heffernan, adopted the moniker Detective Instinct and inherited a bunch of problems with it (he cites the making of the record as having a "miserable start and a confusing middle"). On this record, he takes his love of electronic, psychedelia and krautrock and the invites all of his friends over to sing over the top: there are contributions from the Minutemen's Mike Watt, members of Half Japanese and Heffernan's own Year of Birds. Yay for happy endings!
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 10 October 2014
Detective Instinct is the alter-ego of Middlesbrough's Oli Heffernan, who has put together this unpredictable little gem of an album with the help of a few famous friends. He's constructed the instrumental tracks himself, a hallucinatory mixture of pastoral folk, loopy ambience, krautrock, psychedelic pop and lo-fi electronics, and the vocals are provided by a series of surprisingly illustrious guests - we've got Jad Fair and Mike Watt, who need no introduction, as well as Trumans Water's Kevin Branstetter, Radar Bros' Jim Putnam, The Ex's GW Sok and the Country Teasers' Leighton Crook to name but a handful.
The tracks are largely spoken word but an early highlight has some singing from Branstetter alongside some lively Rob Crow-ish bass twanginging and a propulsive krautrock groove full of buzzy synth details. His other track 'Tortillas' is good too, with him crooning Travis Morrison-like over an awkwardly noisy groove. 'Black Floral I' with Jad Fair sees Fair's vocal chanting processed into a squidgy elastic wheeze over delicate looped melodies and manic toytown rhythms, while 'The Architect of Negative Space' has Karen Schoemer giving a wistful dramatic reading while sinewy bass chords and warm layers of synth give it all a thoughtful lift.
Being as multifaceted as it is it almost feels like a mix tape at times, although the common elements of loops, boomy and nimble bass guitar and lo-fi electronics are pretty consistent throughout. An intriguing listen.
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