Memotone comes from the brutal, industrial side of dance music, where harsh kickdrums and grizzly vocals replace joyful melodies. Chime Hours, on Black Acre, is the artist’s second release and is dark electronic music made with the help of analogue synths, cello, clarinet and church organ. An inventive blend of dark ambience and neoclassical minimalism.
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Bristol beatman Memotone here returns to Black Acre for something that isn’t that typical for a label that’s been putting out stuff by Fantastic Mr Fox, Dan Shake and Commodo. In fact, I’m not even sure what this is. What began as a dissonant plinking of piano keys abruptly changed to a Bristol-style broken beat techno groove which would frenzy the dancefloor. What happens next??
Dub techno. That turns into a muted electro song, sung by the withered remains of someone’s vocal tract. The track after begins with the distant flutes and bells of a folk jig, before a low-slung, grinding beat that would impress the Raster Noton folks enters. There’s some real ambitious production here; each track takes multiple turns that may or may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s all executed with skill and subtlety (and lots of distortion and reverb). ‘All Collapsed’ becomes an ode to Thom Yorke in its second half, the first being closer to Lumisokea or something. It kinda reminds me of Arca’s recent thing Mutant, but with more songs and a bit less madness.
So yes, those who long for forward-thinking electronic landscapes that are decidedly dark and expertly produced, look no further. There are more than a few surprises here. But there is the feeling that it’s slightly too scattered, but that’s totally up to you.
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