BOMB THE BASS: Future Chaos (!K7 Records)


Posted on Sep 16th 2008 11:37 pm

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Bomb The Bass: Future Chaos

Future Chaos
!K7 Records 2008
09 Tracks. 46mins21secs

It’s been just over twenty years since Tim Simenon delivered his first slice of Bomb The Bass delicacy. One of the seminal tracks of the acid/rave era, Beat Dis defined the shape of things to come, and is, like other classics like Acid Tracks, Voodoo Ray or Pump Up The Voume, to name but three, very much at the root of contemporary electronic music. Far from remaining in the limelight or cashing in on his early success, Simenon spent much of the nineties and naughties behind mixing desks, producing or remixing records for artists as diverse as Neneh Cherry, Seal, Depeche Mode David Bowie or the recently passed away Hector Zazou.

This year marks the return of Tim Simenon the musician, with his first proper album since his 1995 effort Clear. Relying on a formula that he tried and test successfully with that album, the man has called on vocal contributions from a wide range of artists, from Jon Spencer, without his Blues Explosion, former Screaming Trees Mark Lanegan, Fujiya & Miyagi vocalist and guitarist David Best, A.P.E’s Paul Conboy or Toob, the duo of Jake Williams and Red Snapper’s Richard Thair, and dispenses a selection of pop songs set upon a backdrop of slightly dark and dirty electronics. Throughout, voices cut through the dirt and grime of Simenon’s dense bleepy soundtracks to animate and humanise them. Opener Smog, with its gritty shimmers, contrasting starkly with Conboy’s smooth vocals, the first of five songs featuring him on lead, sets the tone for the rest of the album. Burn The Bunker, No Bones and the hypnotic Hold Me Up provide the album with three of its best moments, although the sound and mood remain pretty constant right through. Only Butterfinger, featuring David Best on vocals, and later Fuzzbox, recorded with Jon Spencer, deviate from the template a tad, the former by adopting a video game bleepy tone, and the latter by bopping its way out with surprising joy.

Unfortunately, Future Chaos doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of its title. While it would certainly have sounded quite contemporary and pretty cataclysmic ten years ago, in 2008, this album feels slightly tired, too constrained. The production is faultless and the songs are, in most cases, undeniably good, but one cannot help feeling as Simenon has relegates the visionary approach of some of his earlier work to the back of his mind and opted instead for the comfort of a sound he knows inside out. This somewhat undermines the project slightly. As it stands, Future Chaos is an enjoyable enough record but which, ultimately, lacks the spark needed to make it into a future classic.


Bomb The Bass (MySpace) | !K7 Records
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