All Energy Must Continue Upward: s/t tape (Good Glass Records, 2020)

December 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

All Energy Must Continue Upward: s/t

After releasing a synth LP this year, Fred Thomas debuted a very different electronic project with this tape, under the name All Energy Must Continue Upward. Most of the nearly 20 tracks are short pieces with airy synths, but the melodies are much more chipper, even approaching Mike Paradinas levels of jolliness, and there’s also a surprising amount of drill’n’bass-style breakbeats here. It’s definitely along the lines of more Rephlex-adjacent IDM, very homespun and filled with personality, and also several moments of chaos thrown in. There’s some floating, effects-laden ambient pieces (like “What They Said”, which is barely three minutes and the longest track here), but nothing stays calm for long here. There’s tracks like “Midmorning” that are a bit pleasant and mellow but with slightly glitchy beats, and then there’s others like the brief, chaotic “Dumbest Possible” that absolutely rip. “Neve” has the album’s best balance of upfront, heartfelt melodies (and actually sounds like a cousin of City Center’s “Zen Kids”, sorta) and complex, progressive beats. “Child of Forever” goes even harder, piling breaks on top of each other so that the rhythm nearly unravels, but the hopeful, fizzling synth melodies keep everything balanced. Remarkably beautiful music, can’t recommend this enough.

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