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Wysing Forest

Luke Abbott returns with the highly anticipated follow up to 2010’s Holkham Drones. Whilst his debut album was named after a stretch of Norfolk coastline, Wysing Forest takes its name from the Cambridgeshire arts centre where Luke once held a residency. There’s obviously a pattern emerging here - one that continues beyond naming conventions and extends into high quality and experimental electronic music.

Wysing Forest begins with the haunting ‘Two Degrees’, a track which perfectly encapsulates the tone of the album – somewhere between the eerie sounds of nature and the industrious analogue drones that fans of Luke Abbott’s have come to expect. Following is ‘Amphis’, a thirteen-minute ode to the synthesizer that exemplifies Abbott’s exploration of jazz and the methods of musical production and artistic expression that go alongside it.

The record begins to reach its crescendo by ‘Unfurling’, the fourth track on the album and the most reminiscent of Holkham Drones. It’s half as long as ‘Amphis’ and twice as energetic. This heightened tempo continues throughout the following two songs before this somewhat symmetrical album begins to draw to a close. It concludes with a much mellower version of ‘Amphis’ that is an extremely fitting ending to this impressive release.

To say that Abbott’s music has matured would imply that his previous releases were childlike. But there is a progression to Wysing Forest that really shows his development, not just a musician, but as a man who has no qualms about using his music to express his own creative needs – something that is refreshing in an age of rehashed genres. Whilst this album might not be to everyone’s taste, it is worth a listen if you’re a fan of Abbott’s previous releases or like your music a little leftfield.

Alex Pegg

by Now Then Manchester