Ralph Cumbers returns with his Bass Clef alter ego on ‘Acid Tracts’, an e.p. of fine echo-chamber bloop transmissions. The e.p. tag is a little misleading as this contains enough invention to sustain several full-length albums by less imaginative producers. The tracks writhe and squirm, tick and click, blooming into great liquid-bass-soaked sonic flowers; ones you would willingly plunge your head into, despite the quite obvious teeth. ‘Acid Tracts’ is hypnotically electrified, the sound of hissing wires and machines throbbing in a loose bind, rhythms slipping in an out of phase, beats clapping and bursting at unexpected moments. This is electro that has woken up in a hedge; rather than being coldly and efficiently propulsive, it meanders and takes the path less travelled; dropping into dub chasms and halting cul-de-sacs.
‘Acid Tracts’ is wonderfully human, clear evidence of a mind exists behind everything, wrestling with the equipment; sounding brilliantly jury-rigged, you can almost detect the thought process behind each track, the method of placing this noise over here and that sound over there, making the whole endearingly ragged while still being intricately arranged. This is lab-cultured electronic music, but certainly not a dry exercise in experimental formalism, more a joyful unblinkered tinkering; Professor Cumbers as Doc Brown, bellowing “1.21 Raveawatts” in a chaotic Hackney lock-up, as his synth smashes through the space-time continuum, leaving strobing neon track-marks scorched into the cable-strewn floor.
Get yer Acid Tracts here.