Saturday, 11 February 2017

Dementio13 - Broxen

A link somewhere on that sprawling canvas of opinions, paranoia, ignorance, daftness, and cute animal pics that is Farcebook connecting the prolific alien funkmeister Colin Robinson with an album by a chap going under the name of Dementio13 led me here.

"Here" is another of those vast discographies by someone I'd never heard of before, not being the slightest bit au fait with the modern electronic music scene. Demetio13, or Paul Foster as he is known to the machinery of State - describes himself on his profile page as a "Musician, producer, remixer, blogger, visual artist", and a highly inventive, not to mention prolific chap he seems to be. Based in Cardiff, he has made, either in collaboration or on his own, a large number of albums, and they are all dangled temptingly before us with a "name your price" tag. Sadly, another case of so much music, so little time.

Broxen presents off-kilter beats and punishing rhythms, alongside skewed ambience and Kraut sensibilities, finger-poppin' to hard synth structures with soft centres, interspersed with four fully formed songs made with collaborators, right out of left field. The first of these is the opening track. No Maps features Jo Whitby, who records as the self-effacingly named Laurence Made Me Cry. Here, with the main man at the controls, she adds more than a touch of Alison Goldfrapp at her most wistful. The hypnotic nature of the melody and rhythms make this song an album highlight.

Robert Halcrow records as Picturebox who make "pop music, indie pop, lo-fi pop", and his Side Out Side is all very Depeche Mode brought up to date, on valium, as it is all nicely wonky. Manfred Hamil gives us a very Germanic offering by the name of Tank Museum, an eerie construct that sounds like something Bill Nelson might have made in the early 80s when he refused to go anywhere near a guitar. All spoken word abstractions on the art of fire raising and impressionistic musically, it takes the album to a different place. Manfred is part of the ambiguously named The Shed Collective. Very interesting, Mr Professor. Colin Robinson should need no introduction from me if you've been paying attention, and his contribution is a fleshed out version of his Jumble Hole Clough sparse funk adventures. Jumble Hole Clough & Taylor, perhaps?

Throughout on the solo pieces and with the backing to his guests' songs, Dementio13 lays down the grooves, be they ambient impressions or unnerving stroboscopic jerky dance workouts, making the album never less than interesting, and often irresistibly twitchy. And, like I said it's "name your price", and we all know what that means, don't we?

1. No Maps (feat. Jo Whitby) (5:55)
2. Jacques de Vaucanson (2:13)
3. In Patterns (6:12)
4. Broxen (4:21)
5. Side Out Side (feat. Robert Halcrow) (4:24)
6. The Plastiscene (5:05)
7. Voices (7:07)
8. Tank Museum (with Manfred Hamil) (7:45)
9. Note To Self (6:49)
10. Artex And Oak (5:57)
11. This Is Freefall (3:44)
12. Will Reign (feat. Colin Robinson) (7:00)
13. Squarepusher - MIDI Sans FrontiƩres (Dementio13 Version) (7:07)

Total running time - 74:39

Line up:
Paul Foster - Synths, programming, bass guitar, vocoder and production

Jo Whitby - Vocals and lyrics on 'No Maps'
Robert Halcrow - Vocals and lyrics on 'Side Out Side'
Steve Kelly (Manfred Hamil) - Additional instruments and production on 'Tank Museum'
Colin Robinson - Vocals, lyrics, guitars, soprano sax, tenor sax, ARP 2600 and shouting on 'Will Reign'
Tom Jenkinson (as Squarepusher) - Music and production on 'MIDI Sans FrontiƩres'.


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