Article published: Wednesday, April 11th 2012
Following a residency at Sicknote clubnights focusing on the musical sub-genre tangents of dubstep and dark electronica, local DJ and electronic music producer Cogidubnus set up his own record label, named Broken Bubble, which features digital albums by some of his favourite artists. The latest release via that label is his own material and is reviewed here by Ian Pennington.
I could write this review in fifty words. The opening track, ‘The Future Boards of Cheadle’, neatly surmises the relevant reference points in a nutshell; Boards of Canada meets The Future Sound of London as produced in the Stockport suburb of Cheadle.
But it’s not as simple and kitsch as that. As the record progresses, other influences are unleashed, not least the self-coined dubfunk genre pigeonholed for artists on the Broken Bubble netlabel he founded last year. Comprising six original tracks with four remix versions by other artists, Memorabilia is the sixteenth Broken Bubble digital release and, even in the company of London based Mothers Against Noise collective’s Hurtdeer, Second Line and Duskky as well as more recent output by Fedbymachines and Hotflush Recordings alumnus Gravious, it is one of the label’s strongest.
Within a mindset that is altogether mellower than his previous bassy garage template, Cogidubnus still fluctuates from ambient textures by introducing dynamism to the wispiness. The tempo picks up at various points in a way that Boards of Canada rarely would. ‘Dudeslice’ fires off zaps and lasers into an insecure sci-fi battlefield of drum and bass and squelches while the Sipp remix of ‘Autoslouch’ pushes its chest out and raises its clenched fists to the air with a pomp in stark contrast to the Burial-esque dark electronica of the original Cogidubnus version.
The scenes are largely serene though, with echoing vocal samples bridging downtempo flows. ‘Tricolor’ takes after Boards of Canada’s ‘Hey Saturday Sun’ but with its melodies slightly sped up and fed helium, before ‘Prism Reform’ picks up by leading the record along a theme of lonely shuffles of warped sound, woozily accompanied by percussive pops and clacks. The Future Sound of London references are fewer and further between, other than the mutual appreciation of sci-fi soundtracks, although Cogidubnus favours more artificial soundscapes than FSoL’s instrumental psychedelia.
This review first appeared on the Now Then Manchester blog.
Cogidubnus next performs his new set at Dulcimer bar in Chorlton on Thursday 12 April, supporting Vieka.
Memorabilia is available to buy via digital download at brokenbubble.bandcamp.com.