Reviewed by Thomas H Green (telegraph)
The word "ethereal" has been much over-used by music journalists. Yet, since it means variously "light", "celestial" and "airy", there is no better adjective to describe Julian Fane's extraordinary album.
This is all the more unlikely given that the 21-year-old Canadian takes his lead from avant-garde electronica, a sound often inclined towards abrasiveness. Fane's pieces are grounded in glitchy percussion, but great swathes of strings, indecipherable high-pitched vocals and lush sweeping effects form their emotional core.
The Birthday Boys, for instance, wallows deliciously in vast string-laden melancholy and achieves a pristine beauty almost classical in tone.
Occasionally the rhythmic experimentation and crunching drums can be overwhelming, but beyond this, the album is an affecting treat. Fane was a trader on the NASDAQ stock exchange who initially made music to create something conducive to workplace listening. Judging from Special Forces, record company talent scouts would be well advised to start sniffing around the City of London.
- Darqwan - M/a...ximum Reespek
- iTAL tEK - Blood Line
- Ceephax - Megalift E.P.
- The Doubtful Guest - Electrobotz
- Milanese - Extend
- Pinch - Punisher
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Warrior Dubz
- Tim Exile - Tim Exile's Nuisance Gabbaret Lounge
- Venetian Snares - Cavalcade Of Glee And Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms
- Boxcutter - Oneiric
- Boxcutter - Tauhid
- Uniform - Protocol
- Shitmat & Friends - Gary's Gruesome Remixes
- Guilty Connector - Beats, Noise & Life
- The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
- Venetian Snares - Hospitality
- The Gasman - This One's For You
- Breakage - Drowning
- Equinox - Acid Rain V.I.P.
- Pinch - Qawwali
- Virus Syndicate - Ready To Learn
- Virus Syndicate - Ready To Learn Remix
- Vex'd - Bombardment Of Saturn
- µ-Ziq - Ease Up