Reviewed by Chris Prewett (subba-culcha.com)
Chevron’s debut album is a contrary bugger. It ranges from being inspired, fresh, dangerous and beautiful to tedious and irritating, sometimes in the same track. It’s a planet mu album through and through, so there’s spasmodic beats a plenty, ragga vocals rising through the mix at times to shout at you, sinister strings giving an air of unease and plinky plonk synths picking out curious melodies as computer glitches disrupt and interfere with your speakers. It’s the tracks which cling to this formula which surprisingly sound the most safe, the first four tracks suffering from almost trying too hard, with
all the boxes ticked for an aggressive uncompromising sound, (even swearing! ‘London’ has the line “London is a country coming down, London is a cunt.” I’m still laughing) but somehow sounding unconvincing and a little joyless, like Venetion Snares with no teeth.The depths are reached with ‘Rudi the Techno Pioneer’ a break core ragga version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which is frankly, just plain stupid.
Amazingly, after this monstrosity the whole thing suddenly gets really good, while somehow not really changing very much. ‘Kingdom’ and ‘Power of Eternita’ throw up some gorgeous wandering synth lines and stuttery beats, ‘Power of Eternity’ sounding like Squarepusher in one of his occasional write a nice tune moods and ‘Polyphonic Ringtone’, which while being equally as stupid as the god awful ‘Rudi the Techno Pioneer’ , is a jaunty poppy kind of stupid which makes you more inclined to smile than slit your wrists.
The first half of the album feels very much like a pretence, almost as if Chevron himself doesn’t like the IDM communities tendency to neglect such frivolities as a melody, but he’s been peer pressured into incorporating this trait into his tracks, and unfortunately, he’s not too good at it.
By the time ‘Going Out Of My Head’ rolls through the speakers though, its all soul vocals and MotorBass fighting Rae and Christian styles which don’t try too hard and have you stretching for the repeat button instead of the off switch, and the awesome ‘Emails and Viruses’ marries old house piano with sped up looped vocals, rave synths and drum and bass to fantastic effect.
A difficult and trying album, ‘Everything’s Exactly the Same will frustrate and delight in equal measure, it certainly has it’s fair share of faults, but it’s treasures mean that it’s worth the effort.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay