Brain Bleach – Samvridh (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

To most people “instrumental music,” a term really too broad to have any significant or specific meaning, is the stuff of background listening, a mood enhancer or perhaps a soundtrack to something more engaging such as a film or a video game. Brain Bleach, the latest album from Samvridh, proves that it can be something much more exploritory and important than that.

Brain Bleach runs on some fairly familiar lines at times, from ambient drifts to clubland beats to alt-pop-dance sounds, but when it is not following such conventions, it is an album which feels like it is exploring new tones and tastes, creating new templates for the future.

Failed Transmission for example, blends the more usual ambient dancefloor futurism with slabs of dense sonics and skittering, exotic grooves and similarly Glock Handgun takes those booming sounds, part beat, part melody, and drops them into a swirling electronic landscape.

There are a couple of short interludes in the form of Marinade and Token which play with more accessible and accepted EDM ideas, Primo, a trippy and gorgeous slice of otherworldly chilled dance and even a found-sound skit. Finesse is a robust, industrial strength groove bedecked with squigly electronica and chiming keyboards and Bone Idle is an almost conventional late-night, chil-out zone, swathe of loveliness.

It’s a fascinating album one that mixes familiarity with exploration, the cutting edge sound of the modern club with musical prediction of the same place 20 years hence. And looking to the future is always better than looking to the past.

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