Scanone :: Scenes (Yellow Machines)

The real gold of this EP is the complex fast rhythms and thick morphing textures that abound over the sparser background canvas.

A concept EP! Five scenes taken from an imaginary sci-fi film have been scored by Scanone and released as a vinyl and digital EP. Maybe this sounds a little self-indulgent with overtones of late seventies prog-rock, and possibly there is a touch of that. But that aside, there is no denying this is a quality record. The cinematic sensibility is of course very present, a slight nod to the benchmark Bladerunner soundtrack by Vangellis is obligatory in such a work and manifest in haunting synth melodies, you know what I mean. The real gold of this EP is the complex fast rhythms and thick morphing textures that abound over the sparser background canvas. If Aphex Twin and Autechre, at the absolute height of their powers, had the creative synaptic networks of their collective brains ripped out and transferred to binary, which was then used to underpin the processes of a super advanced music making computer it might sound a little like this. Of course one would need to factor in a huge frame of cultural reference, from at least the last 100 years up to and including the most up to date cutting edge output. You could probably chuck Squarepusher into that mix too actually, and Boards Of Canada while you’re at it. I think that would give you an idea of the general feel of this release.

Having read that, you’d get the sense that this is a very retro EP, harking back to the glory days of ‘90s electronic music, but that’s not really a fair summation. Sure, there is a heavy influence from those artists who paved the way for all that came after them, but this is not just nostalgic regurgitation. Far from it, it’s brand new with a completely up to date feel, pushing technical and intricate production into huge expansive realms that do indeed sound completely appropriate as sci-fi film music. If you, like me, fell in love with the wave of electronic music that burst out during the ‘90s, spearheaded by the mighty Warp label, then you will love this. Even if that’s not really you, you’ll still dig this, I’m sure of it. It is kind of nostalgic, but in a good way. It would be great to see more people brave enough to put out work as complex and emotive as this.

Scenes is available on Yellow Machines. [Boomkat | Beatport | Juno]

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