Sone Institute - Curious Memories Album Review
Nostalgia can bring an endearing quality to music, and as the title of Sone Institute's album would suggest, this collection of tracks brings about a very strong sense of déjà vu. But perhaps it is Curious Memories' pastiche overload that creates this creeping sense of familiarity.
Leftfield as leftfield comes, fragmented is the word to heed here. There are no mighty choruses or clever tempo changes, simply 14 introspective, electronic experiments. Sone Institute, like Four Tet, is a lone operator (Roman Bezdyk) and shares the same ethos of his more successful peer. He uses 'an extremely wide array of samples and found sounds, electronics and various acoustic instruments' to create his sound. The song structure, if you can call it that, is loosely based on the jazz principle - a basic, looped backing track with a meandering riff layered over the top. See a track like 'Inter Asylum Cross Country,' a brash, bold introduction to the album. This is one of Curious Memories better tracks, along with 'Plain Sailing Song' which creates a beautiful air of melancholy in its simple, spare arrangement.
You may think that two okay tracks do not an album make, and you'd be right. It might be a little obtuse to expect something new from electronic music, but this 'found sounds' to me sounds a lot like 'found art,' i.e. unless the material is put to innovative and creative use, it's pinching something someone else did. However many noises and bleeps Sone Institute throws into the mix, there isn't a collection of songs here to love, just uninventive repetition. I'm left thinking of Nathan Barley and the sociopath flat mate, Jones, who stayed up till dawn making his beloved techno, but driving everyone else insane.