Rather bizarre one-person wonk from Cambridge confounder and Ergo Phizmiz & Friends member Pete Um. Accompanied by electronics that sound at times as if powered by a potato found behind the communal cooker (and at other times unmistakably contemporary in style), Pete’s lovably old-fashioned vocals tackle self-analysis of a surreal - if modest - sort along with other diverse subjects.
Vinyl LP £12.99
LP + insert on Tip Top. Edition of 300 copies.
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Comprising of nineteen strange little ditties, Pete Um's new record is a bonkers exploration of wonky electronica. It's certainly the weirdest thing I've heard all year. I've no idea how this record was made but I imagine it's along the lines of a Rumpelstiltzkin-esque figure huddling round fifteen or so tiny machines all ticking away in a basement somewhere off the coast.
It's rare you get an auteur like this anymore; a Fred Perry article called him 'Cambridge's Don Van Vliet'. Beefheart is probably the best comparison that could be made to this record. 'As You Were' is like a less bombastic Autechre trying to make 'Trout Mask Replica' in a shed. Twenty songs might seem like a slog but this record doesn't even pass a forty-minute running time. There are hints of minimal wave, electronica, glitch, and exotica, but 'As You Were' is completely Pete Um's own.
God bless Pete Um and god bless this record. 'As You Were' is a whimsical but heart-felt piece of pop magic that's so good that it's become my hot tip for the winner of this year's Brit Awards (you heard it here first).
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- As You Were by Pete Um
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