Not quite a reunion but certainly an album of unheard material from bleak but heartwarming Lancashire electronic bods the Remote Viewer. The duo split out of Hood circa 1999 and made several records of rainy northern techno before splitting off into the Boats/the Humblebee and A New Line (Related). This collection is a series of found tracks made back in the day and perfectly reminds us of the time electronica could be small, tuneful and cute.
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It's been eleven years since the last the Remote Viewer album the rather lovely 'Let Your Heart Draw A Map'. This 'new' effort is actually a collection of unreleased material from back in the day rather than the Lancashire duo getting back together over a cup of tea and a flapjack. The album continues in the direction they were headed with 'Let Your Heart...' being made up of intimate, minimal electronic pieces occasionally with vocals by Empress chanteuse Nicola Hodgkinson.
The album is a menagerie of understated electronica often with minimal or barely there beats - classic of its era smalltronica - the likes of which appeared on countless 3" cdrs throughout the early 2000's. The best bits are were the Remote Viewer bring in a crunch - on 'Complaining of Feeling Unwell' with fizzes along like the best of their early work. The skewed and mangled folktronica of 'Drinking in the Ninth' showcases the brilliant marriage of guitars and sonic debris the band can merge with whilst also remaining resolutely pretty.
The closing 'When It's Over' is a piece to rival my very favourite the Remote Viewer tune - the exquisite 'The Fucking Bleeding Hearts Brigade' but this develops into a gospel-ish singalong, a kind of fireside lament with a chorus of voices (I'm sure I can here my mum in there).
The album is what it is - a collection of outtakes but still the moments of inspiration are a more than useful annexe to the career of these careworn sonic travellers.
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