Have you ever seen those hi-fi test records from the '50s and early '60s? The ones advertising, "Now in glorious stereophonic sound!" What should be some schlocky, gimmicky, test tone nightmare often times turned out to be oddly listenable, exploring the edges of the sonic spectrum, going as far as the imagination could take the composers, and beyond.
Reading the liner notes to the rather excellent Particles from Perth, Australia's Bottlebrush might sound more like the instruction manual for up-keeping an amplifier or researching the proper string tension for a Fender Jaguar.
Bottlebrush is the solo project of studio/label owner Cory Jackman. Jackman runs a label out of Perth called Anthrophobic Records, and Particles is a guided tour through what his studio is capable of. It must be a seven-figure affair, as the synths, drums and guitars of the largely instrumental LP shimmer and shine like liquid metal, over the span of Particles' six tracks. Almost all of Particles lingers in the electronic realm, only pausing for the dreamy, guitar-centric post-rock exploration of “Smoke," which still bristles with electronics in the wings, glittering like the Aurora Borealis. It may be a technical exercise, but there's still plenty of heart and heat beneath the silken guitar textures.
Particles never becomes easy listening, thanks to a deft, adept programming touch and a musician's keen instincts. Jackman's clearly a lifelong music lover, making his transitions and segues totally organic and instinctual. It comes across as natural, organic and heartfelt - no mean feat for music that's almost entirely synthetic.
If you happen to live in or near Perth, Australia and are looking for to really make your music shine, you'd be advised to seek out Anthrophobic Records. If you're looking for electronic music with a human edge, you'd be advised to seek out Bottlebrush, and get the best of every possible world
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