Blank Tape
This Is It Forever

Uncomfortable, in the way that standing in a field on a bleak midwinter’s morning feels somewhat eldritch, is the introduction to Blank Tape. But there is some underlying solace to be found in its opening track, ‘A Way Out’, the birdsong behind a delicate repetition of three simple piano chords acting as the coat to protect you from such a bleak morning.

Whilst no track after this is as eerie, the covert discomfort runs through the album, flaring up in the minor/major chord switch of ‘This Restless Wing’, accompanied by the seemingly pained vocals of Vincent Cavanagh, and lingering in the organ-like drone of ‘Nice To Meet You’. The delight of the record comes in this consistency. Listening to it makes the world feel at arms-length, coming secondary to the alternative universe of slow synths and muted, crawl-up-your-spine beats.

Despite this, the album does feel a little slow at times, which whilst being your best study buddy, can occasionally lead to skipping tracks and wondering when it might end when listening in isolation.

More overbearing, though, is the verging-on-perfect balance worriedaboutsatan have accomplished between the ambient and electronic genres. Whilst some tracks, such as ‘Blank Tape’, focus around whirring white noise, others share a more momentous bounce akin to Cliff Martinez’s score of Drive, placing you in the epicentre of dark activity.

Ultimately, the record is a brilliant little slice of otherworldliness for when the world seems like a more despondent place.

Sara Louise Tonge

Peter Broderick


Just months after releasing Partners, his homage to avant-garde pioneer John Cage, multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick returns with five-track EP Grunewald. Recorded in one night, the EP is named after the church just outside Berlin in which it was conceived. Where Partners was thick in theory, this is much more straightforward. Its impact comes instead from the simple, beautiful interaction between the music and its immediate space.

In Broderick’s words, “For anyone who likes reverb, the Grunewald is a dream come true.” Consequently, no artificial reverbs or delays were added during mixing, only the natural acoustics of the church’s vast interior. The EP opens with ‘Goodbye’, a perfect introduction to the building's sonic environment. Chords are left ringing in space and pauses between passages are deliberately left wide open to allow the reverb of the room to cloak the music. This effect is felt across the EP, as simple melodies resonate powerfully inside the belly of the church.

‘Violin Solo No. 1’ widens the record’s palette with cascading, bowed strings, again amplified by the magnitude of the room. ‘It’s A Storm When I Sleep’ recalls Lubomyr Melnyk’s ‘continuous music’, where piano notes are played rapidly with the sustain pedal held down. Chords wash over each other, creating a single, huge soundscape, a moment of grandiosity in an otherwise relatively minimal record.

Above all else, Grunewald captures the fleeting potency of music born of a specific space, and the natural relationship between Broderick’s solo performance and his surroundings.

Aidan Daly