Boomkat Product Review:
Mute boss Daniel Miller and producer-engineer Gareth Jones team up again after their historic work on Depeche Mode's "Berlin" trilogy and a slew of high-profile remixes. "Electronic Music Improvisations Vol.1" collects the duo's recent modular jams, sounding like early Tangerine Dream, Bee Mask, Sun Electric, M. Geddes Gengras or early Emeralds.
While Miller and Jones are notorious for their interest in vintage synth gear, their debut full-length was born from a fascination with affordable and compact contemporary rigs. In 2019, the duo dragged their modest setup to various studios around London and recorded a series of improvisations, exploring the limits of their new gear and paying tribute to decades of synthesizer music.
The obvious bedrock here is German kosmische music - Tangerine Dream's early material specifically - but Miller and Jones's improvisations nod to a newer wave of synth fetishists, as well as the 1980s industrial/DIY zone. "Electronic Music Improvisations Vol.1" is trippy stuff from the outset, all detuned arpeggios and pinging sequences, syrupy multi-oscillator drones and torched percussion.
Fans of the mid-00s tape/CDR scene explosion - think Emeralds, Pulse Emitter or Bee Mask - will no doubt be fascinated by this back-to-basics approach from two well known synth collectors. Sounds as if they had a blast.