• Sylvain Lupari

ANDY PICKFORD: Objects & Expressions I (2018)

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

“Objects & Expressions I is another nice collection of titles from AP with pretty good ballads, a zest of Electronica and dance music”

1 Driver 6:07 2 Charabang 7:45 3 Smile 5:07 4 Shenestra 4:58 5 Rollatorbahn 7:19 6 Magnetar 7:36 7 Mirage 11:58 8 Euterpe 6:16 9 Zitouna 5:08 Andy Pickford Music (DDL 62:17) (E-Ballads, E-Pop, Electronica & Weeping orchestrations) (V.F.) Another major musical project, OBJECTS & EXPRESSIONS 1 will also turn into trilogy, like Harmonics in the Silence, Shadow at the Gate and Orgonon. The only difference is that this series seems to be offered in 3 separate parts instead of a big block of nearly 200 minutes that requires a lot of listening time and concentration from the listener. But will AP resist for a long time before launching his last trilogy entirely? Only time, and of course Andy, will say it. And if one remembers well, these last 3 sonic odysseys had met the highest expectations of his fans. So, what about this OBJECTS & EXPRESSIONS 1? Drawn from his memories and / or recently composed music, the music proposed here offers the unique signature to the English musician with a variety of rhythms forged in minimalist structures to which he constantly adds these elements that make his music a unique rendezvous at the crossroads of the creativity. And as always, creativity and accessibility go hand in hand in the world of the famous Andy Pickford.

Driver doesn't waste time! A line of sequences that gurgles tries to chew a melodious approach as fragile as the song of a chaffinch, but as resistant as the mocking of nightingales. This first musical proposal of OBJECTS & EXPRESSIONS 1 is immediately kidnapped by a knockout of percussions, sequences and bass pulsations that bring this unbridled rhythm to the borders of a fiery Drum & Bass and of an electronic rock tinted with fragile glitters of synth-pop. The rhythm is sharp and tied around nervous spasms, like a stop & go, while the whistled melody is weaving an earworm. The effects of echo in the keyboard riffs give to Charabang a 90's dance music approach. The music is very much alive with an approach of Frankie Goes to Hollywood on a structure as nervous as in Driver, but more fluid and more in the genre Transe Electronica. We are in mode dance for almost 8 minutes on this title that frees a little perfume of Binar at the level of voices. Smile is the first title that clings to our emotions in this new embryonic trilogy. The rhythm is mild, a mild-tempo, with a circular electronic ballad approach where the keyboard riffs fall in mode harmony. Lively, almost magnetising, the music is surrounded by good percussion effects and stroboscopic lines. We hang onto it quite fast and we spin like happy actors under a light rain. In a setting of a seashore with waves crashing on the dock, Shenestra unravels keyboard chords that jump into the torrent of tabla drums. The chords roll like beads on a harp, while the muted rhythm beats to the measure of silent pulsations. It's a short song rather melancholy with a music which scatters its greyness on a slow-tempo fed mainly by an acoustic guitar and its dreamy solos.

In its approach of dance music and its vocoder that does quite Kraftwerk, Rollatorbahn is a pretty explosive title! The flow is highly dynamized by a sequencer and its lines of bass sequences a bit funky which oscillate sharply under the scars of a shower of stars. Condensed in a mass of sound, the rhythm and the synth chirps are struggling with jerky percussions and percussive effects that energize a decor consisting of a lot of DJ effects. Magnetar is a very beautiful moment in this collection of 9 tracks. Its dreamlike opening follows a sonic river battered by other very good percussive effects and stroboscopic filaments which gradually lead the music towards an almost dramatic accentuation with percussions which shake the senses as much as the allegorical chant of an angelic choir. Longest title of this OBJECTS & EXPRESSIONS 1, Mirage begins its magnetizing charms by a tribal introduction of the Middle East. Clanic percussions are making duel with a suavely sensual voice. This Berber dance is swallowed by the bludgeoning of a percussion/sequencer meshing, but the rhythm stays in this minimalist approach with a motorik touch whose contractions sculpt a long movement filled with jerks. It makes me think of Walter Christian Rothe in Let the Night Last Forever, especially the title Death. Violin layers and keyboard riffs complete the ornamentation of this very magnetizing title which nails us to our headphones. Euterpe is a nice and joyful synth-pop that would cheer up the most depressed of us. The music spreads a beautiful harmonious spiral, well fed by fairy voices, where a guitar gets graft and its melody that gets loose like a coil on a gentle grassy slope. Zitouna is another suave down-tempo with cinematographic violins. And if the melody, strummed on crystal, makes you think of the arrangements in I'm not in Love from 10cc, thus I'm not the only one!

I had a great time listening this Andy Pickford's OBJECTS & EXPRESSIONS 1. And this titles suits very well to the music. This is pure AD music! Available in 24-bit download format, there is no CD projected for now, the music is rather easy to tame with pretty good ballads, a zest of Electronica and dance music on some titles that are not likely to burn you soles of the feet. Interestingly, AP offers explanatory texts on the source of each title as well as the brief lyrics of Driver.

Sylvain Lupari (November 8th, 2018) ***¾**

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