Delving deep into the laptop, â€œDigital Junkies In Strange Timesâ€ is a genre-ignoring collection of electronic ambiences that draws ethereal samples shamelessly from any source that appeals. Most prominently this is R&B acapellas (some re-recorded presumably for legal reasons), processed to drift in out of our consciousness like a distant radio broadcast, but other found sounds are thrown in too. Under this, the core of this album is a gentle electronic soundscape which is soft yet glitchy.
â€œTurbulent Sphereâ€, at 13 minutes, is a relatively steady piece with a digital heartbeat. Processed bell sounds and warm chords ebb above. The beginning and end of the piece are weirder than the middle; twisted attempts at key changes towards the end sound playful or positively tongue-in-cheek at parts.
At only a minute and a half long, â€œAcousmatisâ€ is a wonky processed acoustic guitar loop that seems to be present for two reasons, firstly because itâ€™s a little silly, secondly to increase the track count. The other short track â€œTeen Hazeâ€ is more worthwhile, an almost radio-edit-y bit of anti-pop instrumental with deep flangey bass notes and a lightweight, crisp laptop-hip-hop beat, degenerating into metallic creaks as it develops.
The main meal of the release is the 41-minute â€œMoonlight Compilationsâ€, which walks a fine line between being a single electronic work and a mix album. There are some steady tempos and recurring elements throughout. Sometimes thereâ€™s several layers in play, sometimes thereâ€™s a pure single element standing alone. At points it drops to nothing more than distant birdsong, reminiscent of The KLFâ€™s â€œChill Outâ€, with which it shares a sense of live, improvised fader-riding. At other points, itâ€™s a heavier electronic throb, with a womb-like ambience, sometimes pale hisses and windy tones. The on-and-off languid female vocals are a little Leftfield-y. It evolves slowly and itâ€™s generally melancholic, but the electronic pulses are prominent enough that youâ€™re rarely allowed to proper relax in listening to it. Though itâ€™s never out-and-out silly, things do get more wig-out at the end with the brass sounds of some bizarre Latin-sounding TV theme and some random plucked harpsichord notes.
Arguably â€œMoonlight Compilationsâ€ is a little self-indulgent and is a little longer than is warranted, but as an improvised bit of electronic soundscape, thereâ€™s a lush, rich feel to most of it that makes it an enjoyable listen. Stuart Bruce
via Chain DLK