Radioactiveman / Waits and Measures
Digital / Vinyl
WANG Trax / Released June 2012
What does it sound like?
After four LP’s under the solo moniker Radioactiveman we should all be familiar with the kinds of sounds Keith Tenniswood supplies in this guise. Dark, or perhaps more accurately atmospheric and emotive electro, mostly of the breakbeat variety, which comes in at 6am saturated in acid warbles and rolling hi-hats.
At least that’s how things end here, with the melancholic reversed strings of Where Am I? Offering twinkling keys, and the kind of percussive patterns that serve to accentuate the close proximity (save for tempo) between breaks and drum ‘n’ bass, it’s a bit like Kruder & Dorfmeister jumping into bed with DJ Stingray, sort of. Well, actually, it’s just like Radioactiveman, but you get the point.
It’s a fitting way to finish a journey that began with the lunging, straight for the feet Wreckorder, a low-end heavy arrangement of filtered warbles and bumbling b-lines. Not that it’s all so uptempo, mind. Engine Room brings the undercurrent of electronica further to the fore, as a gentle guitar melody and electro-pop accents apply an exotic sheen to this very British affair (English producer, London label). Don’t expect everything to be so nice though, the album still has plenty of raw moments; nasty, dirty beats, that somehow retain a remarkable sense of soul.
What highlights can I expect to hear?
Incoming pips it in terms of danceability, maybe, opting for a cacophony of 303 stabs and refrains, coupled with tribalist kicks and snares. In stark contrast All Along could almost be described as a ballad, if such a thing were possible in electro, taking us down an Andrew Weatherall-ish route, to lo-fi, downtempo vocal territories, and doing it very well we might add. Meanwhile, Pretty Ugly sends in soaring synth harmonies to rather epic effect, whilst its broken rhythms keep us locked in from below, no doubt satisfying heads down lovers in the process.
Where can I buy it?