Rich textured electronic noises from Scotland’s Claude Speeed. FAO fans of the softer side of Tim Hecker, Fennesz et al. At times recalling the bleepy arpeggios of early Emeralds yet with a much more synthetic edge, Sun Czar Temple is well worth diving into. Available on 12” vinyl from Planet Mu.
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It’s the 20th anniversary of Planet Mu, and to celebrate the fact that the time since the label was founded is currently divisible by 10, they’re plonking stickers on the front of one of their first 2015 releases, Sun Czar Temple. Scottish electronic dreamer Claude Speeed (with 3 ‘e’s to let you know just how much speed Claude is traveling at/ingesting) is a recent signing, having only put out one CD and a few remixes before catching the gaze of the Paradinas.
The music is unashamedly ethereal with a constant backdrop of epic melody, hints of noise and strange sudden structural changes. Some textures really hark back to Rival Consoles’ frazzled tones on last year’s Sonne EP, the arrangements taking heavy influence from Oneohtrix Point Never yet more dense. Chords will unfold to high peaks, constantly shifting the spectrum and tonal colour. But ultimately it has the same ‘fizzy sunbathing synth’ sound throughout, which is a welcome escapism for us Leeds snowmen. In Claude’s arsenal also lies some clattering toms that take centre stage near the end of ‘Fret’ and some obscured vocals, and finale ‘R U Sorry’ (lol) features some kind of plucked harpy thing and poignant piano playing a la Sakamoto.
Actually this is really like Oneohtrix Point Never, if he had done a remix album for M83’s brand of BIG synth strings. While it is immediately derivative, it’s nice to hear that general method of composition in a different, more cinematic context. A great Planet Mu debut and no doubt we’ll be seeing an album by the end of the year/early next year.
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