A release from Minor Science, aka Berlin-based producer and writer Angus Finlayson, has long been a highlight of the Whities schedule. On debut album Second Language, he greets us wide-eyed and wonderstruck.
Both sonically and in terms of the record’s arrangement, there is a counterintuitive sense of precision to the chaos frequently on show here, many of the ideas having been crash-tested on previous EPs. This is one of the more intriguing facets of modern electronic music: the intricacy gifted from both evolutions in computer music and the melding of sound design and musicianship. While this release dabbles within those parameters, the music here is bright and vacuum-sealed – at times reminiscent of the digital gloss of Rustie or SOPHIE. But where those artists aim towards the truly synthetic, the music here feels like the soundtrack to a video game representing an organic world. On the other hand, ‘Blue Deal’ seems to be mimicking the familiar act of sampling from funk, but this reverse-engineered production style makes it sound joyfully cartoonish and uncanny.
This combination of skill and playfulness is present in tracks like ‘For Want of Gelt’, the extended drum fills toward the end of the track sounding simultaneously like he’s fallen asleep on his MIDI keyboard, and stayed up ‘til 6AM perfecting each snare hit. So much excitement comes from Minor Science’s anarchic approach to sound selection and song arrangement; throughout, we’re left guessing what’s waiting around the corner. More often than not, it’s something wonderful.
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