Switched On – preston.outatime: Mirror Radius (Subexotic Records)

preston-outatime

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Brighton-based producer Preston Parris has been making music since the early 2000s, and this is his third long player under the preston.outatime moniker. Mirror Radius explores the theme of being lost but from a positive viewpoint, giving rise to opportunities for discovery within the natural world.

What’s the music like?

Mirror Radius is one of those albums immediately transporting the listener from their starting position to another world. Describing the album from start to finish, Permafrost begins as the track responsible for this transportation, its icy piano tendrils extending beyond the other treble lines, with a reassuring bass pulsing away underneath. All the while in between there is the constant spray of water, more balm to the listener’s ear:

Focusing Out pans even further towards the horizon, its thick ambience surrounding the headphone listener, though this is gradually cut up into a glitchy series of fragments. Postshadowing shows Parris’ ability to find original sounds and textures, with a glinting edge to the texture suggesting wintry sunshine reflected on metal. Mirror Radius forms the central point of the album, looking forward and back with a loop suggesting steel pans and recalling some of the best Plaid material.

The busy beats of this track segue into the immensely calming Antechamber, another watery experience of cool, rippling textures, before Slitscan paints a more distracted and mysterious set of images, distorting the light and pushing slow, irregular beats into the mix. Cut The Knot is a moody beauty, its probing lines underpinned by a solid, concrete rhythm track. Finally Backmask, a bonus, shimmers in the half light, the cold textures having returned.

Does it all work?

Yes. There is an abundance of ideas in this music, some of it drawn from the Replanar album of 2020, but everything here sounds very instinctive under Parris’s guidance. The combination of ambience and foreground material is finely judged.

Is it recommended?

It is – another excellent addition to preston.outatime’s increasingly substantial body of work, which finds consistently original timbres and vistas. There is much to enjoy here.

Stream

Buy

 

Switched On – BUNKR: The Initiation Well Remixed (VLSI)

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

BUNKR’s album The Initiation Well proved to be one of the sleeper electronic hits of 2019, showing off the ability of Brighton’s James Dean to present an album of really well thought out electronica.

Now as a companion piece he has commissioned an album’s worth of remixes, with eight very different interpretations ranging from Digitonal to preston.outatime.

What’s the music like?

Both calming and invigorating, in equal measure. The collection is presented in a logical order, so we begin with a dreamy Digitonal remix of For The Birds, setting the scene beautifully as the track is left in suspension, bisected by a soft piano.

Fujiya & Miyagi do a typically fuzzy take on Solitary Drift, with added flutter and distortion that suits it really well – and their own half-whispered vocals. Octavcat then ensure Solar Wings takes off with its broad chords and busy rhythm.

The upfront, block beats of preston.outatime take Left For Dust to a tougher dancefloor, while Jonathan Krisp gets some acidic squiggles going against the slow moving backdrop of The Initiation Well itself. East Of Eden acquires more bleeps and movement, a really nice glitchy bit of techno applied by Lextron, while the remix of Docking Procedure finds Infinite Scale going under the surface with a head-nodding bit of dub. Finally label heads Echaskech apply their typically robust beats to a heady remix of Left For Dust.

Does it all work?

Yes. Importantly this set of remixes works as an album too, such is the intelligent arrangement of different tempos, textures and beats. All the BUNKR originals are complemented but remain recognisably the work of Dean himself.

Is it recommended?

Very much so. If you liked the original album you’ll find this imaginatively realised remix collection complements it perfectly.

Stream

Buy