Andy Stott Too Many Voices Modern Love
Andy Stott emerged from the ashes of dub-techno like a disgruntled and menacing ghost, his visceral soundscapes projecting a dystopic rage of grizzled mono- chrome textures. From the Detroit-leaning Merciless to 2012’s critically lauded Luxury Problems, we’ve seen Stott shapeshift from murky, obscure waters to a more immersive narrative of bittersweet anguish. His ventures into juke and jungle as Andrea, a collaborative pseudonym alongside Miles Whittaker’s Millie, and his flirtations with softer house have seen him unfurl as a master of eclecticism. More recently, his sound has evolved from the doomsday dance music of Passed Me By, into what is perhaps his most foreign body of work, Too Many Voices.
Cut from a different cloth, this time he’s ditched the grain and opted for a more plastic sound. Though some may lament the lack of dreamy-turned-dystopic soundscapes here, Stott nails it. Toying with grime’s playful percussion, there’s a space and light to this record that makes it his most honest and sentimental release to date. The stuttering and jamming synths of Waiting for You sound like a possessed Tetris game, but Butterflies’ head-raising hook highlights a clarity never seen in Stott before. Melancholic warping synths slide down like drips on a window, seeping into the soulful vocals, while New Romantic exudes a sexual force, the grumbling bass rolling under whispering vocals.
Title track Too Many Voices is another stand out effort, sounding like something Oneohtrix Point Never might cook up if he collaborated with Enya. This metamorphosis was not completely unforeseen, since the addition of vocalist Alison Skidmore in 2012’s Luxury Problems there’s been a gradual careen to a more sentimental, softer side. Yet, on this record, Skidmore’s airy warmth breathes a humanistic heart into Stott’s production more than ever before. Andy Stott has many faces, but with each one he can completely engulf you.