1 May 2015
Reviewed by Grey Malkin (The Hare & the Moon)
A perfect and spectral slice of electronica, UOVI's debut album ably traverses the hauntology genre, crosses over into darkly glistening ambient territory and visits the area of the avant garde where Coil, Kraftwerk and Stockhausen have on occasion resided. UOVI is the work of one man, Matthelos Peachyoza who describes his intention and approach with this recording as 'the sound of my synths going out of control. It’s about less computer interaction. It’s about the sounds and their dynamic relationship with each other. They have their own personalities when you get to know them’. Late night listening, this is a diverse and crafted piece of electronic esoterica that will delight fans of the afore mentioned artists, of the Ghost Box label and of fellow travellers in spooktronica such as Broadcast and John Foxx.
Opener 'Stripped Away' is a spooked piano led piece filled with echoes and sampled dialogue that recalls both Gary Numan's 'Sacrifice' era and the more synthesised moments of The Legendary Pink Dots. Haunting and wraithlike, this is music that layers and unfolds to create atmosphere and mood rather than hooks or riffs. Evocative and eerie, these are songs for dusk or dawn, not the daylight hours. 'Bluebells' is a perfect sliver of woozy ambience, analogue effects whirring past a solemn and melancholy motif of choirs and bells. Nocturnal and nuanced, this is an electronic tapestry of sound and genuine emotion that belies its synthetic origins. Next, 'Flux' ups the tension with a motorik bassline and beat, a night time ride through the dark heart of the city. Vintage keyboard sounds oscillate and orbit around the reverberating melody line, unsettling and yet warm and reassuring in it's tripped out motorized intent. '1975' is an echo laden ghost of a song, emerging into view before retreating behind swathes of hum and drone. The pace increases Jon Carpenter-style, cascades of bass synth pulsating beneath the unease. Never overdone and more concerned with evoking a moodscape, these tracks are no less than subtle, precise and effective electronic symphonies. 'While In Berlin' utilises vintage sounding patches and sounds that remind this listener of Kraftwerk's 'The Mix', latter day Front 242 and Coil's acid drenched Love's Secret Domain period in the complex, interwoven beats and air of slightly unhinged dramatic tension. 'A Separate Reality's swathes of digital strings wash in and out ominously over glitchy percussion until the most gorgeous Blade Runner-esque keyboard line emerges, icy strings creating something both truly heartbreaking and minddblowing. 'Witches' doom laden and otherworldly discordance creeps across squelches and uncanny analogue wails; again not unlike John Carpenter in its layered and carefully constructed minimalism. This is music to unnerve. Final track, 'Haunted Circuits’ is a monolithic black mass of a song, screaming electronics and waves of noise and static creating a fittingly shadowy and ambitious closer to a deeply original and hauntingly inventive album.
This is music for the cityscapes at their most toweringly brooding and malevolent, a night-time sonata of vintage and modern electronics that dazzles, disorientates and disquiets in equal measure. Dusk is falling; here is your soundtrack.
Available now as a download or as a limited CD with a 6 page booklet in a trigger jewel case.