Mark Pritchard
The Four Worlds



It’s been said that storied electronic producer Mark Pritchard’s musical style deals in simplicity and surface dazzle. But 2016’s ‘Under the Sun’ signalled a shift from the ’90s techno of Jedi Knights toward bold impressionism and lavish arrangements – a gamble that payed off. Just listen to it! Thom Yorke’s tiny voice. The hard left turn into folk laments. The colours and flourishes of vaguely medieval melody. It’s neo-baroque, both ornate and mournful. So why does ‘The Four Worlds’, an alleged extension of the same universe, feel so drab and antediluvian in contrast?

Granted, it’s hard to be too disappointed with a work that isn’t an album as such. As part of a new project between long-time collaborator Jonathan Zawada, ‘The Four Worlds’ lends its audio to Zawada’s glitchy visuals, which explains Pritchard’s sudden revert to rudimentary, plateauing sounds. It’s too early to tell whether the as-yet unreleased accompanying film will suddenly pull things into focus. Nonetheless, Pritchard’s sonic regression is strikingly unremarkable.

The progressive house introduction ‘Glosspops’ is oddly pedestrian, as if lifted from some lesser producer’s cutting room floor. The rest – bar the competent bit of dark ambient title track closer – are pallid and stripped versions of what we’ve already heard from Pritchard. But what turns this record from innocuous to annoying is the vague, Radiohead-shallow political “commentary” of its spoken word tracks, featuring Gregory Whitehead and The Space Lady, suggesting Steve Reich’s tape experiments with none of the heft. A lacklustre chronicle, indeed.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.