Boomkat Product Review:
One of the leading lights in R&S’s much-vaunted new generation of artists comes correct with his full-length debut album. Like Mount Kimbie or his old friend James Blake, UK producer Rob McAndrew seems to draw as much inspiration from the painterly post-rock abstraction of Talk Talk or quiet-mode Mogwai, and the fanatical detail of 90s laptop electronica, as he does from dubstep, R&B or house: take ‘Masami’, in which pontillistic acoustic guitar plucks ripple across the surface of gauzy Music For Airports-style ambience, or ‘Lightmeters’, whose hushed dawn mood is broken up, or perhaps consolidated, by steppers’ drums possessed of an almost jazzy, chamber-music fluency. Rousing opener ‘Wait’ wouldn’t sound out of place on The XX’s last album, and the presence of willowy female textures throughout contribute to the drifting, feather-light feel of the LP’s signal tracks. The best passages are those where McAndrew brings a bit of soundsystem muscle to his production, as on the sub-pressured trip-hop of ‘Milkola Bottle’, or the boldly cut-up avant-techno of ‘Pyramid Lake’. James Blake, who collaborated on early Airhead material and in whose touring band McAndrew plays guitar, guests on ‘Knife’, a tremulous instrumental daubed with bluesy keyboard improvisations and splashy, synaesthetic field recordings.
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