Bodycode on Spectral is a new project from Alan Abrahams, who has released strong work as Portable on ~scape and on his own imprint Süd Electronic. Bodycode is the most dancefloor intensive of Abraham’s projects, and as such he’s been on the road a lot recently, including a huge show at the Ghostly showcase at Sonar last month. The philosophy behind the music is, as the press puts it “the psyche can be unlocked via the body…” I guess this album is for dancing then?
’Hands Free Computer Interface’ conjures a deep mood and otherworldly thoughts as twisted samples bleed, creak and smear. These are sounds that have traveled a lot and developed over time and it’s classic Abrahams. ‘World Without End’ should come with a guaranteed ‘never heard sticker’: it pumps new energy into the dancefloor with intricate details, the dub bassline and chromatic feel absorbing you and making you dance like you scored well on your GCSEs.
‘Bounce Back’ evolves and creeps with repeated samples, chords fading in and out like sunlight, while ‘Local Traffic’ is bigger, soaked in strength, the samples jiggling as the melody slowly draws you in. ‘I-Data’ and ‘Equidistant’ are more diverse, crossing vocals chants with vacuumed laptop samples and glass-clapping chords, all underpinned by a prim bassline. This is music to abuse bigroom speakers with.
Elsewhere there are hints at Abrahams roots, tribal drums and basslines inside the hyper-futuristic nodes and noises. The dancefloor focus of the project adds necessary construction and form, and Abrahams’ dabbling in film soundtracks is apparent in the cinematic texture of the productions.
For dance artists, the album format is a tricky balancing act between keeping people interested at home and on the dancefloor. ‘The Conservation of Electric Charge’ fulfils both criteria. As an album, it’s really tight, nothing is slackly produced or rushed. The sound is most definitely like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it. A lot of people will dismiss it as pure amplified noise with no sense to the mess; others like myself will appreciate the roots, the technology and the sensibility of the release. I stack it alongside Louderbach’s ‘Enemy Love’ and Ricardo Villalobos’ ‘Achso’ as a work of depth and integrity that will remain listenable and danceable for a good while longer.
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