Review

Andy Stott

Too Many Voices

Modern Love • 2016

Andy Stott; only a couple of years ago this meant gloomy-techno wrapped in an obscure black and white cover. Strong and stomping, encased from the cold like an army in the Russian steppe. In recent years the producer from Manchester has increasingly enriched the barren and rugged through playful elements. Thus: singer, piano and so on. Stott has retrained from stonemason to ballet dancer. Ballet dancers are also found on the album-artwork of his in the meanwhile fourth album, »Too Many Voices«. A title, from which one may certainly draw conclusions about the music; in the first place the tracks seem as if each of them was influenced from a completely different direction. Although the voice of Alison Skidmore is again featured on this album, and although the cover-artwork leads you to expect a rather sublime elegance, Andy Stott’s chisel flashes up every now and again. The apparent polarity of the predominant voices is especially highlighted in the first two tracks; The intro is bleeping and disturbingly throwing the points towards Dystopia; the second song (which is also the single) can soon be heard whilst shopping at Urban Outfitters. Shall we now hide ourselves away in a bunker to listen to these overdriven kick-drums and psychosis-synths or invite a couple of friends and discuss the newest sneaker trends? But little by little those different voices merge into one. The album becomes narrower and narrower, displaced claps, winding synths, drums and bass confine the vocals; delicate legs now dance in the dark. On »Over«, the penultimate track, the album finds itself, before the album closer unnecessarily tries to be Arca. Hence this album is missing its ultimate punch; although the legwork is rock solid.