Freeform :: Rewind Above/Below/Beyond (Bedroom Research)

It’s 2017, and Freeform is finally making a comeback on Bedroom Research under the umbrella title: Rewind. Thanks to label-owner Matthieu Debliqui’s exhaustive scouring of Pyke’s archives, Rewind is a sprawling three-part retrospective presenting previously unreleased material, with each album focusing on a particular period of his extensive discography.

When you think of veterans from the IDM scene of old, it’s pretty easy to focus on the big names still recording today: Autechre, Plaid, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada… you know the drill. But no less intriguing were those that shared some of that limelight and widened its scope and reach. They don’t come much more veteran that Simon Pyke’s alter-ego, Freeform, who joined the throng back in 1995 as electronic listening music had gained serious traction. From then through to the early 2000s he never stopped pouring out his heady and eclectic mix of World Music, IDM, jazz, musique concrete, muzak and funk on labels as diverse as those genres (ie. Warp, Skam, Sub Rosa, Nonplace, Quatermass, Worm Interface.)

It’s 2017, and Freeform is finally making a comeback on Bedroom Research under the umbrella title: Rewind. Thanks to label-owner Matthieu Debliqui’s exhaustive scouring of Pyke’s archives, Rewind is a sprawling three-part retrospective presenting previously unreleased material, with each album focusing on a particular period of his extensive discography.

From wild-west twang through Plaid or Mike Paradinas Clear-era funk and world music inspired experimentation, Rewind Above features the kind of nut-job, avant garde weirdness that Skam displayed a penchant for back in the day.

Pyke makes no secret that Autechre were a key influence, but his equally complex work is utterly distinct thanks to the far more analogue and organic textures he employs. Rewind Below is packed full of Artificial Intelligence series references, from Black Dog Productions Bytes to Arovane ping and delay or Autechre chrome all the way down to Doctor Rockit strangeness.

Or perhaps you’re looking to spiral out to all four corners of the globe in multi-instrumental, genre-splicing fashion, in which case look no further than the multiple-schizophrenic Rewind Beyond. Mouth harp, bells, gamelan, motorcycle engines, xylophones, bouncing balls, the kitchen sink? All here in spades.

Time to look back at how Freeform was looking forward.

Rewind Above/Below/Beyond is available on Bedroom Research. [Bleep]

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