INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK

 

Four years in the making, Slow Focus is an album that is exactly that, an abstraction that if listened to from start to finish becomes something tangible in the mind of the beholder.

Why does our future sound like our past? This is an appropriate question to ask oneself when you immerse yourself in the seven songs and 52 minutes that is Slow Focus, the first album in four years from Bristol electronic two-piece Fuck Buttons.

 

The choice to open the album with the track ‘Brain Freeze’ is a clear indication that Fuck Buttons’ success has not driven them to pander to a wider audience. This dense eight minutes and 35 seconds of music is like being blasted in the ear with a high-pressure hose while in the distance you can hear a parrot being raped by a whale.

 

‘The Red Wing’ is a highlight, with its ridiculously deep and uplifting organ which drives the listener’s thoughts upwards then forwards with a fuzzy inexorability reminiscent of Bjork’s incredible hijacking of popular music, 1995’s ‘Army Of Me’. It would appear that after the mainstream notoriety Fuck Buttons acquired through 2009 single ‘Surf Solar’ and its use at the London Olympics opening ceremony, they’ve made a conscious decision to stay away from that 1990s glitch techno sound.

 

Unlike previous album Tarot Sport,which was produced by British DJ Andrew Weatherall, Slow Focus is self-produced. The track that best encapsulates Fuck Buttons’ push forward into future sounds is the menacing ‘Stalker’. Again, if you immerse yourself in the track, the mood and images elicited by the title are made chillingly real. The final song on the album, ‘Hidden Xs’is somewhat of an atmospheric piece of music that delivers the listener happily home from the grimness of previous tracks.

 

4/5 stars

 

BY DENVER MAXX

 

Slow Focus is out now through ATP Recordings.

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