First emerging from Manchester’s music scene in 2006, electronic artist Andy Stott has spent the years since remodelling techno, dub and ambient into an atmospheric style akin to that of Forest Swords and Leon Vynehall. From the woozy, unpolished We Stay Together, to the understated yet masterful Faith In Strangers, he continues to develop a dark, progressive sound with each outing. Now five albums deep into his career, Stott is continuing his sonic experimentation with Never the Right Time, which offers some of his finest work to date.
The LP’s nine songs move at an unhurried pace and will likely be enjoyed most by those who favour solitary, late-night headphone sessions. Vocalist and frequent collaborator Alison Skidmore once again joins Stott for over half of those tracks, lending an angelic layer that echoes the dreamy tone of acts such as Portishead or Cocteau Twins. Together on ‘The Beginning’ and ‘Hard to Tell’ the duo create an otherworldly aura that feels abstract from genre, instead tapping into a mood that’s beautiful, lovelorn and desolate, often all at once.
Other cuts ‘Repetitive Strain’ and ‘Answers’ harbour more immediate energy, while the title track perfectly marries both Stott’s gentler and more intense elements to result in one of the records most memorable moments. Like many of Stott’s projects, Never the Right Time unfurls more with each listen, and shows Stott as a hidden gem among the countries electronic scene, producing a strain of the genre that feels both old school and contemporary.
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