Andy Stott


Too Many Voices

2016

Genre: Electronic

Style: Experimental, Abstract, Techno, Bass

Label: Modern Love

Review snippets taken from David Sackllah’s review over at Consequence Of Sound

When it comes to techno, quality is at times associated with cleanness, where one can make out every break, hi-hat, or snare. There is a pristine sheen that creates a seamless through-line, hiding any of the cracks underneath. Throughout his career, Manchester producer Andy Stott has thrived in those cracks, using distortion to craft sound that is creaking, eroding, and falling apart. By putting these imperfections front and center, Stott has mastered the sound of disintegration, illuminating the beauty that lies in the broken.

Stott’s darker, deconstructive technique falls in line with contemporaries like the horror soundtrack inspirations of Haxan Cloak and Raime or the throbbing, discordant electronic of Demdike Stare. The latter’s Miles Whittaker has been a frequent collaborator with Stott under the moniker Millie & Andrea, from which the duo found a way to indulge the energetic, fun aspect of their sensibilities on 2014’s Drop the Vowels. As this type of sound expands, it becomes clear how a producer like Stott is able to successfully remix artists as disparate as Panda Bear and the doom metal group Batillus, without either feeling like a gimmick. In between the bright melodies and suffocating darkness lies Stott’s middle ground.

As a whole, Too Many Voices progresses on the themes of dissonance that Stott explored on his last solo album, 2014’s Faith in Strangers, pushing his sound further. If that album’s “Damage” sounded like TNGHT played through blown-out speakers, a song here like “Selfish” shows that trap/dubstep influence collapsing upon itself. Stott creates a claustrophobic atmosphere with a rapid-fire assault of breakbeats combined with repetitive vocal cries grasping for a resolution that just isn’t there. Stott excels in that tension, whether it’s on the hypnotic, lurching “First Night” or the foreboding creep of “Over”. Opener “Waiting For You”, a brief intro to the album, is nothing but conflict, as opposing sounds drop in and pop up almost haphazardly, portraying the inner turmoil of a mind at battle with itself, enveloped by a strange cacophony.