Konx-om-Pax Ways of Seeing Planet Mu
Producer Tom Schofield’s move to Berlin has gone well, it seems. Ways of Seeing, his third LP as Konx-om-Pax, sounds like the product of a good mood. Making a big point of departing from the esoteric character of previous releases, Ways of Seeing instead offers a straightforward, techno-brushed experience which few, if any, will find offensive.
It’s odd, frankly. In the studio, Schofield has repeatedly proven himself a keen experimentalist, a nerd for sound art and an adventurous sampler. That he’s now delivering music that wouldn’t be completely out of place in a pub garden shouldn’t be a total surprise. 2017’s Cascada gave us a hint, and he’s never shied away from the sunshine so to speak, but his taste for the weird and unruly had a curious appeal, and that’s largely absent here.
That said, Ways of Seeing is far from mild-mannered. There’s enough rowdiness in these tracks that means they won’t be mistaken for any fresh-out the-office, tie-loosening type of ‘feel-good’ techno. They could be vignettes, rich with Berlin’s club moods. Salule Acid’s slow burn bristles nicely with a tantalising, sundown energy, while Paris 5am’s birdsong, delicately layered over sunken chords, is the opposite: a sunrise in a smoking area. The distant synths of Earthly Delights have that ethereal, late-night big room quality, but I’m for Real is the true highlight, a joyous, uptempo basement jam with vocals from former Glasgow compatriot Nightwave. Ways of Seeing isn’t groundbreaking work, but there’s enough to enjoy here.