Randomform is one of those electronic musicians who seem to have more time than the rest of us mortals. Maybe it’s while we sleep that they come up with all these alter egos and new albums. Randomform’s other guise is as Datacrashrobot, which is a name I’ve been seeing attached to a few things on the tides of the internet. That might not be helpful in assessing the strength of this album, but it is true. Another thing that is true is that Randomform was the man behind the artwork for the recent Mitoma album on Daddy Tank, so yet again I am presented with a conflict of interest. Can I be objective about this album ? I think I can because I recently attended a day long “Objectivity and Fairness In Internet Media” training session. The biscuits were delicious but the coffee was weak.
So, in my new enlightened state of objective awareness what can I say about this album ? Well, don’t listen to it on the first nice day of spring because it will make your ears unduly hot and confused. It is not a Spring sounding album. If I was going to choose an ideal season to listen to it, it would be the change between Roboautumn and Nuclear Winter. What am I talking about ? This album is like being buried under an avalanche of sheet silicon. It’s like being bullied by nanobots while sitting shivering in a badly lit underpass recovering from a night of stim abuse. There is no light. There is almost no melody. What you are presented with is like a miniaturized version of the Blade Runner soundtrack on a badly defective USB. Utterly mechanical and determinedly percussive with snippets of cold wave synths and ominous echoes and rumbling. The only non mechanical sounds are the decidedly mechanical sounding vocal samples that peek through the layers of grime and judder. My only criticism of the album would be that it might be a bit too dark. I have trained my brain to sit through hours of aural punishment but if you were browsing for a good place to start with in the densely packed world of glitchy experimental electronica and you started with “Enfeld” it might be a bit overwhelming. I would also say that Randomform should try and keep in mind that its perfectly ok to be influenced by Autechre but developing a unique naming strategy might be advantageous to avoid being dismissed as a simple clone, because there is an obvious similarity. At risk of repeating myself, this is not an easy listening electronica album. It’s not one to pop on at a party. But if you’re looking for a soundtrack to a particularly introspective and sullen mood, this would do the job and the tunes to start with would be “Overcast”, “Polyconaire”, “Dylon Section”or “Xylene Antiform”.