For his debut full-length, microbiologist and electronics wizard Antwood joins the legendary Planet Mu label. His Virtuous.scr album plays with ideas of artificial intelligence and the internet, and his sound is a dense collage of glassy synth textures, cut-up percussion and abrasive mangled samples.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 27 April 2016
Machines hum and whirr. Throats open wide, purring for hours. A tiger roars, a synth stabs, and suddenly it starts to rain. This is what 2 tracks into microbiologist-cum-musician Antwood’s debut sounds like: being rudely batted around the earth, from large bass-filled caverns to animal-filled plains. Typical biologist. This Tristan Douglas guy seems to be doing well though, a debut on Planet Mu is not to be sniffed at.
Especially when you’re a sound design wizard. This is adept production, with carefully-placed, warped sample remnants assembling into liquid collages either rhythmic (‘Overlay Network’ with its distinctly Pearson Sound-esque character) or more freeform (opener ‘a.l.i.c.i.a’). Sharp echoes of Oneohtrix Point Never meld with Synkro’s crystal clear production style to forge yet another quality Planet Mu release. Something tells me these recent ones aren’t getting the attention they deserve; perhaps people have moved on from the label now, somewhat foolishly as they’re keeping things fresh.
OK, it all does have that futurist cyber Matrix overtone, but instead of stale AFX ripoffs, Paradinas has cut to the core of quality. Despite the fact that this release is called ‘Virtuous.scr’, the file extension being a script format commonly used by viruses to get into your digital innards and pull out a few bits here and there. ‘Sneakers’ is sort of like the mind of a computer virus as it lays waste to your hard drive and sanity. Explosions galore here, all you have to do is skip to the start of most tracks, ‘Spirit Fabric’ being a prime example with smashing glass before moving to another common theme, shiny synth chords. Then on to cyber trap, if such a thing can be uttered.
It’s an abrasive listen, and it’s the final moments of the day so I’m going to collapse on the sofa. Bye.
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