Following the high praise lavished on his debut album Geomorphology, Ali Wade is releasing a follow-up in Microhumans, also released on Frequency Domain in a limited cassette-only run. Threaded through its gently undulating ambient soundscapes are many overtures to the rich history of electronic music.
Limited Tape £11.49 fd012
Tape on Frequency Domain. Limited edition of 50 copies.
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A swelling, billowing effort from Ali Wade here in the form of 'Microhumans'. It reminds me of the music that played in the aquarium section of Bristol Zoo. A meditative work, nothing really catches your ears and indeed some pieces slip by unnoticed, but I don't think dedicated focus is the MO of this record.
The LP's highlight is 'Knowledge Particle', a skeletal arrangement comprising granular synth nodules, blips and bleeps. '187J3X1' is another brilliant piece, with just a few distorted chords floating among radio static and blank drones.
'Microhumans' is at its best when only the essential elements are left on a piece. 'Overmind' is disarmingly simple but is one of the most powerful pieces on the record. 'Spore' too consists of breathy, raspy textures placed around a central squarewave refrain. Conversely 'Teething' is forgettable because it relies on sumptuous synth sounds rather than getting to the essential truth of the thing.
Although a slightly patchy record, if you like spacey aquarium sounds then 'Microhumans' is for you.
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