Rolando Simmons finally gets his first full-length LP release -- on lovely 3-colour, marbled double vinyl no less -- and boy has it been worth the wait! The Swedish producer Mattias -- behind this music beloved of Aphex Twin and both their legions of fans -- has assembled 11 tracks packed with melody and melancholy, aching pads and grooving, punchy bass. World Building pulses with a beauty and squelchy character all its own, from its foundations up, and we here at Norman are excited!
3 reviews. Add your own review.
Rolando Simmons (real name Mattias Östling) was trotting about doing his own thing when Aphex Twin dropped one of his tracks at some live thing or other then suddenly his little analogue world turns upside down.
This is his debut full length following the earlier sold out 'Yuo're Life' EP and his is a dreamier less punch sound than Aphex Twin but the opening Whisper and Laugh will be perfect fodder for those desperately missing the more melodic side of the Rephlex stable. It's a lovely little composition of melodic bass and keys, simple drum pattern and just the right smidgeon of acid squelch. It doesn't knock you out of your seat like a lot of Aphex tracks but it's politely beautiful.
Tough to live up to such a good opening track but Simmons defects attention by trying out a myriad of styles over the course of the four sides. From the 'Selected Ambient Works ish 'Free Analogue' to 'Uncertainty Pond' with it's nods back to Plaid and 'Clocks' with its nods towards Kraftwerk and the beautiful slowly building hauntology of 'The Girl of Uchter Moor'. The album has a very soft almost cushioned production which means that none of the ideas are harsh on the ears. It does mean though that there's no real killer tracks here apart from the opening piece and for all of the beautifully constructed composition and attention to retro detail bloops and beats I felt that there weren't enough really memorable moments across the entire LP.
A smorgasbord of delight for fans of Aphex/Rephlex/Skam though from a producer with a thoughtful and varied palette of electronic sound.
9/10 Richie Sombrero Customer review, 29th March 2018
A real gem of an album, playful modern electronics with enough melody and invention to stimulate your cortex and an almost whistful nostalgic yearning. A relative rarity in that it is very successful at painting different moods throughout the tracks without it coming across as contrived - from euphoric to plaintive.
All the talk seems to have related the album in the idm/braindance pantheon but after repeat listening, there's a strong vein of mid 00's minimal in the Villalobos sense running through the second half and it gets quite trippy. You could imagine hearing tracks like "Decay" especially at a Monday afterhours in Berlin. Not that you ever leave your house.
Having listened to this now for a good 4 months, it's passed all initial filters and made it into permanent list of albums I'll come back to, and has lasted more than a few others I'd pegged as being keepers. I think it'll stand the test of time.
Best track? "Free Analogue" has the epic Adagio for Strings via drill n bass ala Venus No. 17 by Squarepusher, albeit more sedate, but "The Girl of Uchter Moor" is the true keeper here, starting off innocuously and building into something really quite special but unforced and not calling attention to itself.
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