“To ensure that your enjoyment of this recording is not impaired please set your stereo to ‘loud’.”
A tip for all you budding laptop-bothering post-dance merchants out there, before we get going: nothing, and here your correspondent positively means NOTHING, could be better to start an album than an ear-blistering wall of nice and crunchy white noise. Not only does it rev the listener up to the extent they’re salivating from places a guitar leant against an amp can’t reach, but it also means that you’ve basically got free reign to go as waywardly off the scales for the duration of your LP, your career and, heck, your creative life from that point in. Shame Feedle has already done it better than most mere mortals ever will, but then again, he has just made the most satisfying electronica album of the year and we’ve not even stopped catching February’s colds yet. Settle down, here’s the score…
Although it’s been nigh-on three years since the slightly elusive Sheffieldian placed any of his own work on wax, and this being his first output on the budding Spoilt Victorian Child indie empire, he’s still already going about placing the bar higher than treetops in first long-player proper ‘Leave Now For Adventure’. Even after all the distorted fuzzcore has bled into stuttering, atmospheric wonder on opener ‘Song For Dogs’, it’s still more exhilarant and exuberant as you could hope any music to be, and does not dip on this count until the whole experience abruptly halts forty-odd minutes later. A sonic amalgamation of many things – be it sounds, genres, moods – even in this opening five minutes there’s a wealth of atmospheric synthetic warbles, a sombre but uplifting rumble of bass and the sort of glitch-y percussive undertones that gets every bone in your body trembling with fervent delight. If you’re here reading this review because of Feedle’s association with former Dustpunk label-mates and remix fodder 65daysofstatic - hi there, do come in and take a seat – you’ll be pleased to know that he is essentially ploughing in a similar aural field, only with less god-sped guitar bashing. Yet although he’s using the same soaring, climactic methods for his slabs of sound, he seems to be throwing in there something much sturdier, more melancholic, more timeless somehow. And, as shown in the likes of the spectral ‘Burn The Fields’ and the dainty yet sky-scraping ‘Go Home Revolving’, at times his work can be in debt to My Bloody Valentine in the same way M83 or their ilk are, aiming for a luscious musical landscape despite having to cross musical boundaries to achieve it (and, more often than not, succeeding completely).
Despite the weight of inspiration here, though, it’s still a record that is just plain inspired. _ ‘Everything Slow’, for instance, melds into place vocal beat-boxing, sharp bass stabs, miniature vocal snippets, frenzied whispering, cheery whistling, backwards drums, forwards drums, dive-bombing whooshes and ties it all together with a soft synth line last seen used at the beginning of mid-seventies prog-rock opuses (unless you count their inclusion in the work of latter-day Daft Punk). Same can be said of _‘This Troubles All Dust’ with its perky folk-guitar licks, pounding drums and bah-bah-bah vocal refrain, as well as the only sung segment to occur anywhere on the album – a rather cheery exclamation of “It’s a lovely day, let’s get out early”. Whereas in words this looks like it could easily be a kitchen-sink symphony tantamount to unlovable chaos, it instead creates something in turns both unashamedly exciting and achingly beautiful.
It may come from a near-wordless place with a synthetic heartbeat, but this album packs the sort of intense emotion and hot, blustery passion that by rights should have people fawning over it past a time when the bar is raised even higher. You deserve Feedle in your life, and, frankly, Feedle deserves you.
9Thomas Blatchford's Score