No Arrival - Converse
Updated: Jan 28
Bricolage continues its fine run of form with a full length from Glasgow's No Arrival to kick off their year in style - an album which I knew almost immediately would be my first contribution to this site.
'Converse' clanks into life with a dub-inflected soundtrack for a jazz-lounge where all the guests are androids, or at least that's the image in my head. Languid drums, subtle, smoky synths, and all manner of background clatters work in complex harmony to evoke that sort of dusky futuristic atmosphere. With distant strings in the second track and something akin to gamelan in the third, fusion is the name of the game as electroacoustic percussive elements plot meandering courses over foundational grooves. While the sound palette shifts, the music is unified across the album in its principles of design, feeling simultaneously intricate and organic. It's rare to hear notionally 'electronic' music which feels this alive and spontaneous.
The moods are contemplative and invite the listener's mind to drift to whatever scene or emotion resonates, encouraged by the gently morphing forms of each piece. 'Pine Up Front' sums up the endeavour; a funky jazz motif submerged beneath clicks, rattles and distant washes of guitar. The more free-form sides of Squarepusher or Amon Tobin are obvious touchpoints, likewise the rhythmic deconstruction of someone like Beatrice Dillon, but ultimately this is the unique sonic world of No Arrival and one I encourage you to explore in great detail.