Minotaur Shock in RA (Posted By Harry)

Minotaur Shock

Minotaur Shock in RA

Minotaur Shock

Written by Tony Naylor

What a deeply strange record this is. Over the last ten years, David Edwards has produced glitchy, mellifluous electronica for 4AD and Melodic, while moonlighting on numerous projects. Most recently he has provided electronic percussion for Perfume Genius and mixed tracks for new Warp-signing Kwes. However, on this, his fifth Minotaur Shock album, the Bristol-based producer is determined to escape the confines of his laptop. Irritated that his music has frequently attracted the tag “folktronica,” Edwards has taken the counter-intuitive step of giving full vent to his fondness for folk. Orchard is littered with flutes, violins, pianos and xylophones, in an attempt to map, among other things, that “particular eccentricity,” which, according to Edwards, links Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and The Orb, Art of Noise and Kevin Ayers.

At its most bucolic (“Too Big to Quit”) Orchard sounds like an impromptu ceilidh in a remote rural Irish pub, rather than anything that is happening in electronic music. The next track, however, the atmospheric “Westonbirt,” is a better example of where this album is at, as it underpins roiling, swelling acoustic tinkling with a surging, brushed-steel beat that Scuba would be proud of. In “Lending Library,” Edwards does a Brandt Brauer Frick: recreating motorik machine music as a largely acoustic, fractionally looser entity. On “Quint,” that technique really takes flight. Edwards’ shamanic groove achieves that perfect state of explosive instability, where you can hear humans desperately trying to ape a locked groove, often spiralling off in beautiful, exhausted defeat. Ultimately, it has been processed within a laptop, but “Quint” is as thrilling as anything Omar Souleyman’s band produce live.

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