Monday, 26 September 2016


Painting a fun but altogether chilling atmosphere with this smart uptempo tune is musicmaking maestro (officially composer and sound designer) Lindsay Lowend. 'Downtown Mannequin' combines clever composition with various instruments and a driving disco feel, not only allowing you to skim on its surface as if it were a videogame soundtrack – not unlike Lowend, what with his 2013 VGM-inspired Wind Fish EP, and much SoundCloud output since then – but also allowing a deeper experience for the cavernous imagination.

Popping boppity beeps provide their subtle jolts throughout, these staccato patterns bouncing along from start to finish, the pixel canvas on which is strewn moody synth strings and atonal chords like shimmering shards of light striking here and there, muted lightning, and icy sparkling notes played in exotic scales. Later a crazed march of acidy synth joins in, squelching and whipping along with the skitter of the beat: it all feels like the frenzy of shopping.

Yes combined with the title, this track with its frosty yet happy-go-lucky physique, its excited but frenetic ticking percussion, presents the clean lines chrome and glass sheen of a high-end future shopping experience, the frantic bustle of shoppers, the gleam of expensive new items on display and out of reach, overwhelming. And how some sounds jar and jut out, subtle sideswipes at the expected tinny emptiness of the track—the mind assaulted the sensory overload; and how the string parts, soft and sensitive, play bravely in the whirl of confusion. Modern day consumerism with the gloss of superficiality draped over true troubled feelings boiling below.

  • 'Downtown Mannequin' does not appear to be part of any release, but like almost all of Lindsay Lowend's music it can be downloaded for free. You will also notice that comments are disabled and numbers of likes/plays are hidden for pretty much all his tracks.
  • You should also check out LL's Vimeo, where musicmaking meets the wholly practicable art-science of sound design under his real name, Tony Mendez.

Lindsay Lowend Internet Presence ☟

Saturday, 24 September 2016


This feels like it arrived just in time. Laying back in the swirl of synth, in the thick speckled plasma noise of it all, smooth and electric caramel, deeply uttering chillment, silvery chimes and golden fragments of piano like glints of light, muted natural ambient sound trickling in the background, it's easy to slip into the thought that right now is exactly the right time to hear this. This is the the eponymous opener of Harris Cole's debut LP pause and it is wonderful.

And then arrives second track, 'chapsitkc'—a different atmosphere, thinner and hallucinogenic, a mist of phasing waves, whooshing and alien. A gradual slow hail of percussive booms tumble down, sub carving a stoppy groove with an occasional stutter of bass boops, broken beats in an astounding laze of lethargy, pounding absent-purposefully on the present moment and creating its own compartment. But the aching way in which Harris Cole brings in the nocturnal slosh of beach breaking waves, a sample of the real world: reality merges then washes over the once transdimensional sound gallery and shifts your attention to a different moment till it fades away.

Lying beyond this awaits the rest of the album. The sequential nature of these first two morsels makes us feel like we're in for a jolly journey with pause, which also judging from the soundular shapes of 'pause' and 'chapsitkc' will be one that is spacey and reality-blurring, thereby also blurring the perceived distance between recording actual sound and the artificial process of actually manipulating sound.

  • These two morsels act, of course, as the appetiser for Harris Cole's album, pause, which will be released in Fall/Autumn this year. We will maybe have to wait for a month or something like that who knows.
  • The artwork by George Wylesol captures the atmosphere of these two tracks – presumably the LP too – with its own depiction of an otherworldly experience in a worldly setting, bold yet muted, colours that feel somehow off, employing levitation in a setting of magical realism that feels arcane, in spirit and style similar to the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

Harris ColeInternet Presence ☟