Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Andrew Hargreaves -- Handwritten Notes

Prologue 1:
I love when someone tells me they hate a genre of music. Even better yet when someone says regarding their musical tastes "I like everything except _____". Really? You've heard EVERY single song in a particular genre of music. Shit, you must have one hell of an attention span and a record collection to boot. The reason I bring this up is because I think for many people who may not like or have lost touch with electronic music, this is the song strong enough to entice you back or pique your interest if you've never perused this world.
Prologue 2:
Can you call something genre-defining even if you have a hard time defining the genre? Last year I had hoped Peter Broderick&Machinefabriek would drop the album that made everyone go "Ahh! I get it". Modern Classical-meets-electronic minimalism. Instead they released a pretty decent album that had lesser expectations of itself. Still good, but my hopes may have been too high.
The business:
This astonishing bit of loveliness today comes to us courtesy of Andrew Hargreaves who is one half of The Boats (read more on them later). He also makes music as Beppu. And also as Tape Loop Orchestra. This is the sort of music that's a contradiction in terms; on one hand it seems to be begging you to relax ( or 'chill' as blunted out 14 years old like to say), on the other hand there is immense attention to detail and nuance to this stuff. Handwritten Notes begins like an all consuming fog, and then slowly a piano melody emerges like a hand reaching to pull us in. And from there, Hargreaves has us at his mercy. The good news is that wherever it is (or whatever genre it is) he's taking us too, it's a lovely place to be. Something tells me that Hargeaves may have this (')genre(')'s 'Endtroducing' in his back pocket. Wait and drool for the September release of the album proper.

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