The beauty of analog gear is in the errors, the unpredictability and no matter how fast digital emulation advances, that lusciously crackled timbre which coats this LP remains elusive without resorting to the real thing.
In a world where the youngest crop of producers don’t know an MC303 from a TB303, the title of this new LP from British brothers Octavcat feels fitting. As if the analog squelches and crackly 8-bit drum samples that constitute the sonic palette of this release were already a forgotten memory.
True it often seems silly to spend hours poring over arcane tomes of CC controls when all of the analog classics are available, pristine and multi-sampled from the comfort of Push or Maschine. But that kind of misses the point doesn’t it? The beauty of analog gear is in the errors, the unpredictability and no matter how fast digital emulation advances, that lusciously crackled timbre which coats this LP remains elusive without resorting to the real thing.
Instead of the familiar sparkle and shine of most modern dance music a hearthy fireside glow pervades a remarkably varied selection of tracks, from the brooding snaky grooves of “Fighting Cider” to the mellow atmospheric stabs of “Diurnal Arc.”
Gear choices aside, the brothers also demonstrate a thorough mastery of arrangement and melody. The music flows effortlessly, never over saturated with ideas yet consistently maintaining interest as frenetic builds and enveloping breakdowns warp and weave their way through an ever shifting landscape of melodies and rhythms.
A resounding testament to the warmth and spirit of the machines that made electronic music.
In Memory of Old Gear is available on Uncharted Audio.