Ivy Lab’s new album ‘Death Don’t Always Taste Good’ is a throw back to the mid 1990s, to the days when the gravitational force of Mary-Ann Hobbs’ Breezeblock programme was creating its own left-field Big Beat electronica scene, including the likes of the Lo Fidelity Allstars, in fact everything on Skint Records, David Holmes and Regular Fries. For the most part the album is a murky aqua underworld, one rich with sounds and textures, you feel a really slow bobbing up and down of the waters around you. Blob, blob, blob, you feel like a fish being gently rocked in space. At other points the soundscape is more industrial and harsh, like the sea water you’re suspended in is slowly being sucked into the cooling towers of a power station. If you’re a cod fish you’re about to become boiled cod fish. The moment of awakening comes three tracks in with Jet Lag, which reminds me of some of the material in the recent album from Fischerspooner, it has the feel of a long and lazy road trip across the States, even though its threaded with this Japanese tinkling sound, its a little bit sexy, a little bit spiritual and very laid back. There are some familiar electronic elements in the track but its like eating a new kind of food. New food? Yes. Muesli, that’s what electronic music is, a blend of things. And electronic music should be like a new twist on muesli, because trance, laid back electronica and murky electronica have been done to death over the years. A good example of innovative electronica was Fischerspooner’s recent album, a cornucopia of new and surprising sounds embedded in a highly sexual and slow burning pop piece. Ivy Lab’s album whilst firmly anchoring itself within the Hobbsian tradition referred to earlier, has less surprises, but there’s still some stuff to munch on. If you want to cut to the chase though, I’d settle for Jet Lag.
Its out 11th May 2018 on 20/20.
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