Review of Time Team Album by Slugabed

Punk; it's like it never needed to happen. After all, thirty five years since John Lydon made himself public enemy #1 by singing about god saving our Lizzy during Jubilee year, its legacy seems to have distilled back to a few decent fonts and some Vivienne Westwood frocks, with what felt like revolution at the time is now something more akin to a spot of teenage peth.

Slugabed Time Team Album

One of the reasons for this is that the principles of do it yourself, that anyone could learn two chords and thus FORM A BAND and that it didn't matter what that band sounded like is now much more of a reality than in 1977. Now technology allows artists to work anywhere, to never set foot in a studio if they don't want to, and to forego even learning an instrument if they so choose. No labels. No A&R guys. No marketing. In a certain light it seems that the industry's real trojan horse was not a few snotty nosed art school dropouts, but silicon chips and software. How anarchic.

Anyway there is a point to this and the point is despite this emancipation of thousands of bedroom auteurs, there's still a chasm between those who are capable and those who are talented. Greg Feldwick falls into the latter category, turning a few keystrokes and Fruity Loops into electronic music that has a real sense of warmth and melody. Now relocated to the much more Zeitgeist tapping Brighton after growing up in the less so Bath, our hero's début is full of nods to everyone from Benga to Cameo and everything else in between, weaving a path through a plethora of genres whilst avoiding the pitfalls and blinkers as imposed by scene spotters & bores.

Like all great British music it also has time to be a bit weird - eccentric, as we like to call it - especially on the slightly dissonant closer It's When The Future Falls Plop On Your Head, but mostly Feldwick sticks to convention in the mode which fans of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke might recognise. With this in mind Grandma Paints Nice pulses around a sludgy, distorted sounding analogue motif and wobbling synth bass, whilst on Dragon Drums vaguely Eastern vibe is painted via a lilting micro Bedouin flute. All that's fine, but on Sex things are much more straight down the line. That of course is where the line is one that sounds like it's being told by Larry Blackmon hanging out with the guys from Chromeo inside a particularly groovy funfair. It's that kind of party.

So the quality control download patch clearly worked and all is dub/funk/r&b/techno tastic loop lovers, but where Time Team really blows one's cranium is when Mr. F strips the noo-funk gloss off and climbs up Mt.Cool. The high watermarks here accordingly are Moonbeam Rider - a glacial opening that then descends into a dirrty bump n' grind-athon, and Mountains Come Out Of The Sky, a trippy space ride through the 9th dimension, one suitably garnished by a discombobulated female alien type adding squiffs of harmony and the odd indecipherable chant.

Trying to add a veneer of mystery which is totally unnecessary, our Greg's people are telling you that Time Team is in fact a concept album inspired predominantly by his interest in "hexagonal crystals". The artist himself prefers the more believable conclusion that it's based on "Deep feelings about mostly inexpressible things". Either way, it's more than a match for the Brainfeeder guys, and that's really all you need to know. Nanu Nanu.

Andy Peterson

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