The Citron EP by Whatshisname is a modest collection of four electronic songs which hint at a much grander scale, which will likely appear on Whatshisname's upcoming album which he is planning to release in August or September. Although hailing originally from West Sussex, United Kingdom, Whatshisname has traveled extensively, settling in so many countries that his musical influences are presumably greatly widespread at this point. Oman, Turkey, Nigeria, the Netherlands, and of course England are some of the many places Whatshisname has remained for a significant period of time, usually working day jobs and immersing himself fully in each respective culture.
The rise of new technology fascinated and inspired Whatshisname, and four years ago he began producing digital electronic-based music, rekindling the fire that had instilled such a deep love of music within him in the first place. He bought various instruments which did not appear on the Citron EP but may perhaps appear on future releases, including bass, drums, and synthesizers; also, he rediscovered his guitar skills and dusted off a humble collection from his past existence. The entire EP was recorded, remixed several times, and mastered all in his home studio, which is no easy feat. Elements of his past appear on the surface; progressive rock is obviously where his roots remain and he does this genre justice, though the songs are structured in an accessible and clean way, seemingly a better fit for electronica and trance fans than for those with a preference for any type of rock. Tracks such as "Conflicting Prophecies" are subtler, but still insistent that one sit up and listen. Even in its heaviest moments, there is a soft ambience present here. As the track "Rise and Fall"'s title suggest, this record is full of them.
Despite years of creative inactivity, and limited availability to professional studio time, Whatshisname has crafted a danceable as well as strangely elegant array of electronic sounds. Some are obviously so, while others sound deeply organic, though no natural instruments are actually played on this particular record. On the title track, for example, what sounds like rolling drum fills accentuate the repetitive, otherworldly electronic lifts and falls, giving the track a strength that might be glaringly absent if it solely consisted of computerized noise. Strong, solid musicianship, along with an affinity for what modern technology can offer a musician with limited resources, are both evident on this EP. I suppose I would have preferred to hear organic instruments on here as well, as Whatshisname is an accomplished guitar player, but he has used technology to his benefit and created memorable, polished-sounding tracks nonetheless. Given his fascinating backstory and various assortment of influences, I'm definitely looking forward to what this intentionally ambiguously-named artist has up his sleeve this fall, when a full album will be available.
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