September 22nd 2010

Luke Abbott – Holkham Drones (Border Community)

Review written by Tristan Hanks

The debut album from electronic upstart Luke Abbott comes courtesy of James Holden’s wonderful Border Community label and what a magnificent debut it is. From the opening bleeps this record delves into a fuzzy world of dreamy melodies that give way to big room, bass led tunes that would topple even the hardiest of sound systems. ‘Whitebox’ is one of these tunes and its bass lines lurk in the mind long after it has played out. There lies the beauty of this record, its warm computer sounds are more emotive than most electronic music and tracks such ‘Hello Talezaar’ contain droplets of pure sound that betray its dancefloor origins.
Obvious comparisons will be made to Boards Of Canada and Four Tet but really it sounds more like Aphex Twin at his most lovable and Clark minus the percussive aggression. This is not to say that the music isn’t challenging in parts, the title tracks titular drones are a bit headache inducing but it is these glitchy sonics that make it more interesting and save it from being too chilled. While ‘Soft Attacks’ slowly builds towards a chugging crescendo worthy of the dancefloor it seems pointless to clarify genres on music that is often beyond definition.
It is perfect for home listening, amazing on trains and could make the mind glow on a snowy winter walk.
Many find electronic music cold and hard to love but this is produced with such care that you can’t help but want to live inside its wobbly bubbles of brilliance. Norfolk based Abbott has been a real find since his ‘Whitebox Stereo EP’ and his talent lies in the multilayered approach he has to sound. He could have just become a progressive house bore but each tune leaks with originality that can make the listener dance and then dream. Many fans of the incredibly arrogant musical genre known as IDM will love the album but while this moving music comes from the head of near genius every note really does warm the heart.

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