Keef Baker – Redeye

review_keefbaker_redeye

CD, Hymen Records, 2007
www.keefbaker.com

When your chosen field of musical interest tends towards electronica and IDM, sometimes you need your faith restored just a little; something to let you know the scene you’ve grown to love so much isn’t growing stale or running out of ideas. This is where “Redeye” comes in to the picture. Keef Baker’s 4th release, and 1st release on the highly respected Hymen Records label, “Redeye” seemingly integrates idm and breakbeat songs which actually have melody, programmed percussion that fleshes out the sound beautifully and occasional vocal work, all of which give this album so much more soul than most electronica releases of late. This is a stunning release with a depth and feeling that very few manage to achieve.

“Redeye” starts with “Kirkstall Morrisons”, a track which begins with a glitchy, almost ‘interference noise’ sound followed by a beat that actually makes you jump – think of watching a horror film, and something unexpected happens, that sort of feeling. “Tombola Thrill Killer” is almost industrial to begin with; I can certainly imagine some angry sounding vocals over that to go with the guitars, but luckily it calms down in to a relaxed vibe all of its own around halfway through. “Bobfoc” has a sound not dissimilar from Bitcrush and is soothing and painful in equal measure; an emotional rollercoaster as it were.

“Qaop Space”, is an intense and quite memorable track in the vein of Tarmvred’s “Viva 6581″ with all its 8-bit quirky goodness. It made me think of two things – first if Keef had gone totally mad, and second why couldn’t I get Kraftwerk’s “The Model” out of my head – the start really does sound like the chorus of said song… or at least it does to me. Other tracks of note are the really quite wonderful “Thalamess”, which is certainly the noisiest track on the CD, it’s definitely not straight up power noise and has a beauty all of its own. The ending track “The Only Way” is a sombre note to end on, featuring minimal lyrics and haunting piano melodies, that really do pull on the heartstrings somewhat.

In conclusion, I’d say this album is an absolute necessity to any electronica enthusiast’s collection. If you were starting to get a bit bored with hearing the same thing rehashed over and over again, this will give you the kick you need to see that there is still life in electronica yet.

[10/10]

– Kate Turgoose

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