Richard Neale began creating alternative folk music in the early 2000’s which explains why his electronic music has a such a warm, natural, handmade feel. ‘Deep Blue’ is his latest release, the first half of which is a stand alone EP comprising of ten ten tracks that interweave between beat driven tracks and solo piano compositions influenced by the likes of Nils Frahm, Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 10 April 2015
Namedropping AFX, BoC, Sigur Ros and GY!BE is certainly a brave move. My cynical side says ‘crowdpleasing’, but ultimately intrigue wins over, especially since that Richard Neale seems to have come into electronica from a folk background, a fundamentally massive transition. It’s always interesting to hear what is retained.
The packing for this includes a nice little seal so unfortunately we can’t open the little hexagon up, making this a minireview based on which streams are available online, so only a small portion of the tracks. Neale runs with the folk aesthetic in the choice of percussive sounds brought together to form his beats - natural sounding shakers, toms, claps and junk perc rub against each other as if dragged through a bush by a computer. It’s an organic feel that is present in most of Boards of Canada’s music, so I guess the comparison is there.
Melody forms a strong part, with visceral synths highlighting chords led by pianos and imperfect vocal chops definitely ticking off the Nils Frahm comparison with a hint of Four Tet on ‘Your Move’. The pace and build is kinda similar to post-rock but it’s a bit of a stretch. I have a feeling the rest of the album will be great; Neale’s a talented beatmaker.
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- Deep Blue (part 1) by Richard Neale
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