Abstract Analogue reviews On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics

Posted by Bea Cloke on Monday Sep 1, 2014 Under Album, Music

On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics

Stephen Rennicks enthusiastically reviews On The Nature of Electricity & Acoustics on his website Abstract Analogue:

“On The Nature of Electricity & Acoustics is a CD and download compilation (curated by composer and artist Daniel Figgis) of various Irish electro-acoustic artists which came out last year. If you have any interest in this type of music, then this album is a perfect introduction and in fact is the only one of its type that I’m aware of. Thankfully Figgis knows his stuff in this department.

Electronic maverick Roger Doyle’s playful ‘Baby Grand’ from 1978 opens the album in a minimal fashion with programmed over-lapping piano runs and he returns again about the midway point under his Operating Theatre guise in a piano and electronics piece from 1982.

Deep Burial’s deeply narcotic ‘Glue Bag Lung’ is another standout track for me and comes just before Ian Wilson’s deeply moving and melancholic ‘Devotional 3’ which places violin on a bed of electronics. Pat Daly’s ‘Com-Plex’ reminds me of and could be seen to be responding to Roger Doyle’s opening piece in its arrangement and playfulness. Very engaging indeed.

It’s great to finally get to hear something by Vincent Doherty. I previously only knew of him as a longtime collaborator of Daniel Figgis. His ‘Snow din’ is a lovely way to spend 2 minutes of your time, as you add him to your list of artists from this collection to make an effort to hear more from. Like a number of the other artists here, Doherty works outside of the conventional context of a musician that plays live, releases albums etc, working as a composer and sound designer for theatre and radio.

Cathal Coughlan’s ‘Second City Bicycle Bounce’ (a “recomposition” of music by Daniel Figgis) is a curious instrumental from 2002 that keeps growing on me each time I hear it. He’s managed to weave some fairly unusual elements together that somehow continue to reveal new angles and sides to them you might not have heard at first listen.

The gtr/bass/drums of ‘Devilcock!’ by Princess Tinymeat announces the first and only rock out so far. An early Figgis project from 1986 it makes me want to hear more of their music for sure. The track sounds on the verge of crashing to a halt or spinning off to one side, which is not a bad thing in this case. A welcome unreleased instrumental track from Schroeder’s Cat, “Goodbye”, commissioned by Figgis for his “poisonhats” event, is the penultimate track before ‘Lucky’s Bad Day’ from Figgis’ Skipper (1994). This is still one of my all time favourite albums and this track still sounds so bright, so full of wonder and potential, and after so much time I expect it always will. A return to the familiar so, after an illuminating and thrilling journey in the company of artists who have long been pursuing and honing their own unique vision.”

Buy the iTunes release of On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics (features 12 additional tracks)
Buy the On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics CD

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