The thought of electronic music to some people will instantly conjure images of banks of keyboards or two French men in jumpsuits and shiny, chrome helmets. But the music has progressed massively since the 1980’s commercial birth or the 1990’s Euro-trash that packed holiday resort dancefloors with annoying hooks and choruses (those of us old enough to remember the ‘Crazy Frog’ still shiver at the thought).
But away from the seemingly constant remixes and patches there is a use for electronic music that is sometimes big and ballsy but also calm and meditative and the new release from Sone Institute (or rather Roman Bezdyk) is comfortably nestled in the latter.
It’s always difficult to review an album that isn’t made up of conventional ‘songs’, the easy way out is to talk about lyrics or a chorus and the meaning behind a song, but this album is made up of twelve pieces of music that would sit quite happily as a film soundtrack. What that film would be of course would be up for discussion because the mood of the music is understated. If you were hoping for loud bangs and triumphant highs, this is not the music for you.
Industrial pounding and padding replaces anything resembling a drum rhythm while twinkles and extended notes fall over the soundtrack, it rarely rises above first gear with a mood putting me in mind of a grey beach where the sea hints at power yet is happy to lap the sand and stone at a day ends.
But this is the nature of the album, it’s very calm.
‘Corridor of Rain’ puts me in mind of the great 80’s soundtrack of Blade Runner, while ‘Forget Everything’ is something out of Orwell’s 1984.
‘Insect House’ – along with chirps from a friendly cricket – is pure David Fincher’s Se7en, where the dark foreboding of the music happily matches the suspense and creepiness of the onscreen action (this piece of music is skin-crawlingly creepy, especially when listened to at 6am on a dark, wet road).
At times it reminds me of the work of Brian Eno, his albums with David Byrne and David Bowie use these kinds of sounds as the heavy backdrop for some of his music, but here, fully exposed, the layers are there for all to hear and if you wanted something different (away from frogs in helmets – and by that, I mean the annoying song, not Daft Punk!) then this is well worth a little of your time.