Reviewed by Sam (tesselate.me.uk)
Them dubliners Ambulance finally drop their album into my boiling hands. After making me love them with an Untitled 7" on Planet Mu (ziq054), I have been waiting to hear the full length outing, and finally it has arrived. After Mike Paradinas asked them to work on an album for his label, they came back with TWO albums worth, and this is the first. More to come....
"Tickle" drops an electro beat from the offset with a tiny harmonica singing along, the deeper and deeper you journey into the track more sounds gather together. You are being chased by a staggering sampler with a drum machine on his back, spitting squelchy beats at you, try to outrun the pair of loons but its not gonna happen. Duck the lasers and potshots, but keep running because they have long life batteries. Wicked track.
"Dead weight" is a calm ambient glitch vocal number, with cuts and reverbs a plenty which takes you into the title track. More hashed and spooky voices call out to you, whilst the smooth electronic fuzz builds up, think "Escape from New York" soundtrack. It has the essence of an 80's chase scene, the disortive hiss turns itself up and then calms as the baddies have lost you. Phew!. Recommended.
Liquidy scratchy turntable attack with a beautifully wily synth melody, welcome to "Jetti".A cool montage of tangy synth hits with deep intermittent bassy tones, which pull you into the scratchy drum beat. Close you eyes and think of a jewel encrusted secret cave, this is the audio version of that richness. Excellent.
"Rodeo" throws you into a pipe with a glass brick a very angry electronic bee and some shards of liquid metal,it then tosses you around and records the outcome. Fall out of the pipe and the drumbeat bashes its way into your mind and etches its signature onto the back of your eyes. So much going on, you need to here this one.
Buzzes,sparkles, hisses, and electronic waterfalls, this is "Hymn". Sunshine chords and melodies are joined by a beautifully cracking glitch beat until the warped eastern rhythm kicks in. Huge buzzy chords get your head nodding, as you take a sip of the local tipple and spend a sunny hazy afternoon drinking with the monks of Ambulance monastery. Amazing.
"Antiques Roadshow" taken from the previousPlanet mu release is track ???.An attacking tricky electronic beat attempts to take control but is calmed by a subdued vocal singing along. Strong bassy hits fend off the grannies as they complain to the producer about what has happened to their beloved sunday afternoon show. I prefer this version anytime.
Fill them teens with "Teen Filler". a short speech about some dude talking about a science lab, its sampled from somewhere, but im not sure where....
"Cad quad qui" slowly tumbles over your face with its enticing watersmooth melody. Two televisions argue against each other, jumping from channel to channel firing vocals backward and forward, whilst a minimal pingy beat runs inbetween.
Four and a half minutes of ear jumping cut vocal smoothness, georgeous bassline near the end. Damn fine.
"The tams" is an adventure into a moody rain filled future technology market whilst "Kurant" is a beat filled harddrive skaking itself free from its housings. Beautifully golden chords create the melody which calms the hdd and fills the tower up with a thick ambient soup. Turn the volume right up because this is amazing. Bola would be jealous.
"it's curtains for you" warn Ambulance. A calm intro with a spacey ethnic feel leads into a thudding bassline with hissy snare strikes. A tiny jewel like insect runs over a frozen pond creating a mesmerizing audio sparkle, it continues to scuttle around as a deep robotic voice attempts to grab your attention, but its hard to make out its message. It becomes clearer but seems to be malfunctioning along with the layers and layers of electricity coming to an end. Head filling beauty.
There is a secret track which sounds like a horse having a coughing fit, or trying to speak, whatever is the more insane.
I love this album. Remember the first time you heard "Music has the right to children" by Boards of Canada and you knew you were going to listen to it another 7000 times, this has the same effect, albums of this quality dont come along very often. So, as soon as this is out, use your hands and buy it, I guarantee you will love it. If you dont, mail me and I will eat the road outside.
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