A set of tracks made by live coding leads to a set of lurching, glitchy electronica. Who’d have thought... Anyway, Renick Bell is one of the best in the business for this sort of thing, and new tape Turning Points demonstrates exactly why. Frenzied IDM, digital MIDI-bap and slamming Szare-like techno all rear their head here in Turning Points' first three tracks alone.
Limited Tape £8.99 SR064
Tape on Seagrave.
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How often do you think about code? Unless you’re a software developer or under the age of 11 the answer is probably not very often. Luckily for us luddites, all of our interactions with circuit boards are mediated by what every user friendly interface has been put in front of us. My parents think I’m tech savvy.. I would disagree.
This is true of music as well. Much electronic music is created within (relatively) easy to use digital audio workstations. I assume you’ve heard of Ableton. But there’s a whole scene of people who are peeking behind the curtain. Renick Bell is part of it.
Bell, and his Algorave peers, prefer to code their music. Laying out function upon function, and rewriting the code live to create a familiar dynamism that the likes of Ableton allow. But Bell’s dynamism is much more intense. Tracks are conjured from nothing, and somehow the result sounds as complicated and cohesive as any of the other producers making similar music.
The tracks or Turning Point are fizzy and gleeful. The drums feel carefree, making improbable rhythms. ‘Origin of all Phenomena’ sees sugary whooshes bolstered by skittish drumming. How is it possible these sounds were made in a command prompt?
Elsewhere ‘Without Words’ is an absolute club hammer that brings to mind Gábor Lázár’s sci-fi beat building, and ‘Learning Through Mistakes’ sounds like a serendipitously corrupted Laraaji MP3. Renick Bell and Algorave are probably sick of outsiders marvelling at how they make their music. And rightly so, because the music is just as worthy of column inches.
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