Boomkat Product Review:
Joe Williams a.k.a. Motion Graphics coins one of ’16s most striking solo debuts with Lense, following his key contributions to the Lifted album/project on PAN and luckily proving that the album’s gorgeous lead single wasn’t some sublime fluke.
Lense exists in a finely sculpted sound world of strangely kerned rhythm dynamics and origami-like spatial dimensions that share much in common with work by his Lifted group mate Co La, yet is strongly distinguished by Williams’ feel for lushest new age harmonies, pop vox and percolated choral synths, all woven together with a unique array of tinkling idents created using randomised software instruments and ambient FX.
It’s effectively a combination of scroll-pop, RSS-feed-funk and augmented reality ambience, one which reflects the ubiquity of digital sounds in the everyday ether, and our fractured relationships with social media - “the erraticism of the Twitter timeline and the aggregated news feed” - with a vivid HD quality and vitality that really brings his experiences to life in a surreal blurring of boundaries between synthesised sound sources and waking life.
Not that we’ve had a go yet, but we’d imagine that passing thru Lense is like mooching the multiple dimensions, infinite planets of No Man’s Sky, glyding with your jet pack from the glassy sirens of Airdrop to the pastoral slow house levitations of Houzzfunction and the Hosono-like Anyware or structuring intricate harmonic tessellations in Minecraft Mosaic, whilst the deliquescent blue eyed soul of City Links feels like Bullion morphed by Co La, and SoftBank Arcade (Swiftcode Version) perfectly conveys the most amniotic sensations of social media bathing and online optimism.
We could spell out a long line of comparisons for this sound, among them Matthewdavid, Paddy McAloon, Co La, K. Leimer, Bullion, James Ferraro, Ssaliva, TCF, Torn Hawk, E+E, Haruomi Hosono, but ultimately and simply, Lense just shares those artists’ ambitious nature in abundance, and can safely call this sound his own.