Boomkat Product Review:
Anyone expecting another eloquent collection of jazz-inflected songcraft from Chicagoan songwriter (and member of The Sea And Cake) Sam Prekop is set for a bit of a surprise here. Old Punch Card is an all-instrumental electronic album said to have been inspired by the spirit of free improvisation and such iconic 20th century innovators as Raymond Scott, David Behrman and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The majority of the sounds heard on Old Punch Card are devised via modular synthesizer, and were recorded at Prekop's home studio. The writing process began with prolonged periods of sound-tweaking experimentation from which interesting analogue sound designs would arise along with "happy accidents". From here, the album was shaped around arrangements of the resultant sound snippets and although the final product proves to be a searchingly abstract affair, devoid of beats and conventional structuring, melodic forms will often take shape. The title track itself establishes a harmonious arpeggiated bloop, while the likes of 'Knitting Needles' and 'Brambles' manage to balance their more textural experimental tendencies with glisteningly tuneful constructions. Amongst other highlights, 'November September' expands the album's otherwise strict electronic palette with lightly processed guitar edits and closing piece 'The Silhouettes' takes on a modulating, choppy character that might be said to invite comparisons with labelmate Oval's sliced up loops. Recommended.