Matt Saunders, the main musical mind behind Assembled Minds might have crept into your ears before through his work with the likes of Sonic Boom, Farmer Glitch (Hacker Farm) or the Deal sisters. This solo record finds him producing bright-but-odd electronic trips, somewhere between the city and the country. Packaged with ‘weird inserts’ on Patterned Air.
This one has sold out on all formats. Sorry!
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7/10 Laurie Staff review, 22 January 2016
Rave-ghosts indeed. Assembled Minds aka Matt Saunders takes his cobbled-together brain back to the rave touchstones of the 90s heyday - all the house/techno beats, downtempo vibes, piano breaks and XTC-inducing synths - and puts them back together in a different, more musically acceptable form for the modern ear. This one comes with some extensive, interesting packaging, including a bag you can tie up and some translucent printy thing. Nice.
Recently, we’ve seen lots of electronic affection for 60s bleep experiments and 80s horror soundtracks, but not too many love letters written to rave itself, the explosion of the dance underground. Sure, producers like Clark and Evol take elements of rave and reconfigure it, but Assembled Minds sits outside all of that, neither being an actual dance album or an experimental piece. The beats are often slower, the melodies a little bit creepier, and the fluttering synths are more psychedelic than rave could ever produce. It’s a good combo, for the most part, though it feels like the beats don’t need to be nearly this ‘big’ to invoke rave culture.
It’s too much of an imitation rather than an influence, though the starry gaze of the synth lines is really holding me in its grip so the beats are superfluous. As well as a bit silly in places. But if you’re a fan of the Tycho / Pole sort of sound, then definitely check this out.
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