Echoing bloop-fugue drift album ‘Bloodhounds’ is the debut long-form release from Paul Snowdon in the guise of shuffling synthotist Time Attendant. It follows several excellent EPs for More than Human and Exotic Pylon records.
Atmospheric and evocative of experiences you haven’t had, it is steeped in the weird and uncanny. The music is deeply odd, but not the alien oddness of cold machine process; there are clearly hands at these dials, switches and wires; what those hands are connected to I wouldn’t like to guess. ‘Nettle Sting Riddle’ is a drum pad beat in thick moss, a drummer boy separated from his troop in a thickly fogged endless meadow; suffused with a weird internal logic that defies easy unpacking. ‘Sugar Beet Perfume’ deploys pitch-bent guitar noise and a precarious beat patterned around interlocking rusted wheels. The frog-chorus of weirdly phased and overlapping electro-croaks on ‘Inky’s Pitch’ is combined with small bubbles of bass and static. ‘Crystal Mascot’ mixes the gentle clumping thwok of wood chime and crushed bird-song with hazy drones and bleep-melodies in a frame of hissing tick-rhythms that speed and slow like a broken record player.
Sounds pile on sounds in unlikely serrated blocks, a dada assemblage that is challenging to make sense of. The answer is to not; it is what it is, and that is remarkable enough. Spun together with human ingenuity but warped with garden-shed-bound lunatic urges; the album often resembles a brain where neurons must fire across weed-choked drainage canals. With ‘Bloodhounds’ Time Attendant presents a noise-world runny around the edges, its modular-synth gravitational core a shifting kaleidoscope of trumpets, horses, voices, passing trains – a parade of almost-shapes smashed into non-linearity, a musical version of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’; a paradoxical mix of motion and mind-consuming self-examination, the forward drive of ‘Bloodhounds’ is frequently distracted by bizarre road-side monoliths.
Time Attendant’s recent live performance at London’s Brixton Windmill saw him at one point channelling the motorik chug of Neu. The smooth glide along endless utopic Autobahns was suddenly diverted onto Ballard’s Westway, a crash expelling Snowdon onto a concrete island where he patches together synths from wind-blown crisp packets, crushed Coke cans and the occasional whirling hubcap. Growing old with a squirrel in each pocket of his dirty overcoat, he plays infinite sets of broken techno to a menagerie of rat skulls, urban foxes and stranded badgers; the music almost entirely lost in the constant roar of traffic.
Grab a copy of ‘Bloodhounds’ here.