The Golden Sea
Label: Illian Tape Cat: 043
Label: Illian Tape
Release date: 18/02/2020
In recent years, Anthony Child, the originator of UK techno’s gravelly “Birmingham sound,” has reoriented his gaze towards increasingly natural vistas. Electronic Recordings From Maui Jungle Vol. 1 and its follow-up delivered lush Buchla soundscapes in 2015 and 2016. A year later, donning the The Transcendence Orchestra name alongside Dan Bean, he crafted the swirling drones of Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals in a notably less exotic setting, the Cotswold hills. It’s worth mentioning these records not because The Golden Sea, his latest release, sounds anything like them (this is signature, pummelling Surgeon) but for the panoramic outlook they share. The Golden Sea carries a psychedelic, pastoral quality, as if Child has terraformed the electronic signals his work emanates from.
All three tracks share the same palette of gurgling synths, thumping kicks and clattering percussion, but to subtly differing ends. “Hostages Of The Deep” is the most ominous, filled with radioactive bleeps and a restless, syncopated rhythm while the other tracks churn and swell like the oceanic terrain of their titles. From its opening bar, “Aqua Marina” is a mean, choppy ride, as Child adds swinging hi-hats and skittering snares amid the fizzing sounds. The feel is looser and more naturalistic than his sometimes straight-edged sound. With lighter-footed energy, “The Golden Sea” bobs to a slower tempo, carrying a hint of melancholy, even as it becomes increasingly distorted and citric acid-sounding. This is still functional UK techno, but these tracks are bursting with colour—and life. (Text by RA)