Written in the 1990s, RunningOnAir takes you back to the dawn of the internet and the realisation that the music industry is at the verge of it’s demise due to filesharing. Crisp electronica that takes you back to post jungle midi sequencing and cold synthesised strings, with elements of ravey synths and dance tracks. Musical pieces on the hardware of the time, written in the midst of it.
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Patterned Air’s third release continues its foray into echoey rave revival like the Ghost Box of the '90s. Rather than being a modern album in-the-style-of, this is a genuine '90s relic of a record, finally seeing the light of day after being buried in Joe Evans’ basement with his Mac Classic. Some say he was the first creative type to fall for the ‘Mac = creative’ lie. Some say he even created it himself, accounting for the legions of broke musicians with MacBooks today.
Enough imaginary slander, this record is very weird, half sounding like sort of '90s paranoid ambient techno breakbeat-ish stuff but half actually containing the sounds of the machines of the day - bleeping printers, whirring floppy drives and hints of Microsoft Sam are obnoxiously peppered throughout to conjure up images of a flawed technological utopia about to crumble down in a crash of 1s and 0s. I’d use the music of u-ziq and Autechre roughly as a guide as it’s mostly beat-based but has sort of more free-form interludes that verge on the cinematic and silly. Creepy chords are everywhere, played by hilarious MIDI xylophones and synth strings which may not be to everyone’s taste, depending on when you were born.
They say it all moves in cycles of 20 years, which makes the 2010s the decade of the 90s. We’ve seen rave revival saturate Lone’s recent LP, not to mention Konx-om-Pax too. Ludicrous boy band tracksuits litter the streets. But if the '90s are also an echo of the '70s, why isn’t there a prog-punk war going on in the charts? And why does everyone love the '80s stylings of Stranger Things so much?? Questions.
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