Various Artists – Singles and EPs

This music is the brainchild of Michael Woodman, guitarist and vocalist in Thumpermonkey, written using the immersion composition techniques described in The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook. The method seems to work. I have no idea what method he employs when writing for Thumpermonkey, but that seems to work too, and for several reasons Eat Your Robot sound a lot like his other band. One reason is the lyrical style; another is the way the melodies are phrased; another is Woodman’s singing, which is highly distinctive; and equally important are his guitar playing and riff writing, which are a …

Tim Risher – The Cracked Chimes (ambient)

Ambient music is usually associated with a certain set of characteristics; although dance music producers became interested in ambient as a source of inspiration, and whole stylistic zones have arisen around the combination of different dance genres with ‘ambient-type’ sounds, even to the extent that the term is frequently used unadorned to refer to such music by those unaware of its provenance, one thing it often lacks is an overt beat. When Tim Risher suggests we might hear his music as a ‘mix between ambient and techno’, I guess we should take his use of the latter term as a…

Paragaté – Spaceflight Pharmacology (ambient)

Possessed of a melodic simplicity that invokes naïvety, and a harmonic rhythm that deploys some erudition in the service of fairy-tale inevitability, ‘Friendship’, the brief G. Cook piano piece with which Tom DePlonty opens Spaceflight Pharmacology, is a scene setter. Quickly succeeded by a piece that might more readily be associated with Paragaté’s established interest in ambient music, it serves notice to the listener that they should have their ears open, and that their critical responses should be held in abeyance until they have heard the entirety of this hour long utterance. Many of the pieces that follow are more aurally discursive than is common in ambient music, and although atmosphere is clearly a concern throughout, with a sense of…

Paragaté – The World Above Us (ambient)

Paragaté do not offer a lot of detailed information regarding the manner in which they constructed these recordings. Instead they tell us who worked on which pieces: there are two of them (Tom DePlonty and Tim Risher), and they each claim sole responsibility for two tracks, the remaining five being ascribed to some degree of collaboration. The detailed mechanics of that collaboration are, again, unstated, so a joint credit could mean more or less anything; similarly, the fact that the solo tracks are still credited to the creative entity known as Paragaté suggests that we are to regard them, in some sense, as collaborative work.

lextrical – Deletia (electronica/ indie/ folktronica)

Deletia opens with ‘Lunchbox D’, which begins with an obviously electronic backbeat; this is joined a bar later by a saturated, analogue sounding synth melody, and simultaneously by a guitar. This sets the pattern for the album: it is a predominantly electronic construction, but it is a highly organic one, and stylistically it looks toward guitar music at least as much as it does toward electronic music.