Silicon Scally – Field Lines
A2: Empty Subways
C2: Static Fire
D2: Altered Domain
Carl Finlow keeps on keeping on. As the world changes around him, the veteran producer continues to do what he does best - craft top-quality electro tunes which invoke the sound's Drexciyan heyday, yet carry themselves with an assurance that is all of Finlow's own.
Finlow remains a prolific producer more than a quarter of a century on from his emergence. Still averaging several records a year across a variety of aliases, recent times have seen Finlow forge particularly strong links with the Central Processing Unit label. Now, after a run of EPs for the Sheffield imprint which began with 2018's 'Projections', Finlow's Silicon Scally project offers up CPU's first drop of 2022 in the form of the 'Field Lines' LP.
Silicon Scally productions have long been marked out by how they combine piston-precise beat programming with more textured synth play. 'Field Lines' runs with this formula to deliver some of Finlow's most atmospheric material to date. At once shadowy and expansive, listening to 'Field Lines' is the aural equivalent of taking a night-time drive around some futuristic metropolis.
The beats cruise sleekly here. Many of these burbling machine-funk numbers hover at mid-tempo, the crisp clip of their drum programming given shape and depth by all sorts of percussive tones fizzing around at the fringes of the mix. Even when 'Field Lines' seems to set its sights on the club - the Bunker Records-aping 'Amino', for instance, or the dystopian whizz-bang of 'Static Fire' - the tracks here strut sturdily rather than giving in to full-on freakouts.
However, from this sturdy base, Finlow moves outwards. Working with tones which range from rapid-fire machine-gun bass to keening, dawn chorus keyboard pads, Finlow leads us through the futurescape with the expertise of a seasoned guide. Cuts like 'Submerged' and 'Yield' are brilliantly cinematic, blooming from those reliable drum pulses into miniature masterpieces of nocturnal electronics. Elsewhere on 'Field Lines' there is a mechanical majesty to 'Inhibitor' and 'Altered Domain' which invokes the brave new worlds that Kraftwerk repeatedly conjured in their heyday.
Central Processing Unit's first release of 2022 is 'Field Lines', an LP of electro-funk explorations from Carl Finlow's Silicon Scally project which will thrill regardless of whether it's experienced through headphones or out on the dancefloor.
RIYL: Drexciya, Kraftwerk, Cygnus, Annie Hall