Octavcat: Arbourne (VLSI Records, 2020)

August 7, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Octavcat: Arbourne

Mysterious U.K. artist Octavcat isn’t a new name by any means (Discogs lists several releases dating back to 2003) but this is my first exposure to their work. It’s the type of braindance which would be at home on post-Rephlex labels like Central Processing Unit, constructing sturdy electro beats and spiking them with acid-tinged melodies. Some of it gets weirder, with Autechre glitches riddling the trippy “Otheracid”, and while “Charcoal” seems to walk the line between danceable and chillable, there’s still some remote flashes of noisy fury. “Wrong’n'” has funny, ear-tickling synths wibbling atop its smooth-Drexciya beats, and “Polygonpad” is closer to trip-hop, with vocoders over crunchy midtempo beats (yeah, it does sound a bit like BoC). Mostly slick and not too hard-edged, this sounds like it was made for cruising through a virtual neon galaxy.

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