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||The Metronomical Boy
||27th October 2011
- Darker Than a Beginning
- Ina's Special Day
- Free Association
- Letting Go Quietly
- Learning to Walk
- Air Chamber
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"As well as acting as co-founder of the Boltfish Recordings label, UK-based electronic producer Murray Fisher has previously released two albums under his Mint alias, and this third album ‘The Metronomical Boy’ follows just months after his recent collaboration alongside Will Bolton as Biotron Shelf ‘Cloud Bands And Arabesques.’ As you’d expect given both Fisher and Boltfish’s established aesthetics, the emphasis amongst the eleven tracks collected here falls firmly upon sheeny, post-IDM soundscapes, with a harder, broken rhythmic edge frequently being played off against the more ambient synth elements.
The aptly titled ‘Queasy’ provides a perfect illustration of Fisher’s stylistic approach as vaguely unsettling detuned synth pads float eerily against a rattling undercarriage of grinding, stuttered breakbeats and subtly burbling bass, the end result calling to mind a far more busily frenetic take on Boards Of Canada’s sweeping pastoralism, while the propulsive ‘Cartouche’ easily represents one of the most dance-centred offerings to emerge from Mint to date as smooth techno rhythms and brooding bass synths power beneath a gorgeous backdrop of shimmering, phased pads and wandering detuned analogue keys, evoking a sense of driving at night with what’s easily one of the biggest highlight moments here. Elsewhere, the delicate ‘Learning To Walk’ sees organic instrumental elements creeping into the mix in the form of plucked banjo, which slowly builds against a rich swell of gentle analogue synths, before brittle-sounding broken rhythms suddenly power up like some whirring machine to take the entire track off in a blur of scissoring breakbeats, before ‘Cypher’ takes things down into a brooding swirl of bass synths, harsh metallic breakbeat textures punctuating the moody atmosphere as bursts of grinding static flit between the speakers. While much of this is certainly well-travelled ground by now, ‘The Metronomical Boy’ offers up a consistently impressive and inspired listen from start to finish."
"Not since his extraordinary previous release, ‘Cardboard Rocketships’, have we heard unparralled melodies like the ones found on ‘The Metronomical Boy’. This is the third studio album from Mint, and it once again provides an eclectic mix of songs filled with glitchy electronics, crunchy beats, and whirling backgrounds, all led by addictive melodies. The bright bubbly sounds on tracks like, “Ina’s Special Day” provide the necessary contrast to his darker side found on, “Darker Than A Beginning” and “Daub”. With this release Mint has managed to work his way toward the top of the list of amazing releases thus far this year."
"Holding the electronic torch firmly, Mint (aka Boltfish co-operator Murray Fisher) keeps his latest collection of audio work clean and vibrant. Equal parts Toytronic-inspired ambience, flickering percussion and technoid rhythms has The Metronomical Boy gliding through carefully explored symphonies. Catching eardrums with low-lying puddles of bass, soft instrumentation, soundtrack mysteries and carved melodies, all is well in the land of Mint.
While these precision (and at times erratic) movements touch the soul with sparkling tapestry, it’s more rewarding to see Mint keeping his composure and style from fading into obscurity. The years of surplus electronics can be a daunting task to filter through. This is an area that Boltfish have kept an ear on; vying for progress and nostalgia, their productions always ignite the past while etching new pathways to consume. The push-pull affect revealed throughout The Metronomical Boy, its polished facade, mild temper, evenly paced experiments and uplifting interior keeps Mint in top shape from start to finish. Swaying from left to right, these splendid retreats are counterbalanced above sincere bleeps’n clicks, both confused and clear in their construction. Not relying on preconceived notions of IDM’s fading mystique, these pleasurable windows of life dive straight into the fabric of yesteryear without losing sight of clean-cut production, solid mastering (courtesy of Ochre at Melograf Mastering), and a visual stimulus that just can’t be ignored."