Album Reviews

Guy Andrews: Permanence & [MT][NT][ET] – “a detailed history of an individual”

The London experimental artist returns with two new albums.

London’s Guy Andrews’ has spent the last decade delving into the world of experimentation.

Having performed on BBC Radio 3‘s Late Junction, Andrews has also been involved in collaborating and remixing songs with Massive Attack and Ghostpoet.

Following on from his 2017 release, Tåke, Andrews unveils two albums at the back end of 2020 in Permanence and [MT][NT][ET].

While Permanence and [MT][NT][ET] are two separate works in their respective rights, the textures across both albums are stitched together with a collage of sounds that are cleverly juxtaposed throughout.

Land Trance interview: “Everything we do we feel sits in the broad continuum of psychedelic music”

Permanence is produced on the framework of haunting piano minimalism and luscious drones.

It’s a journey across the world of ambient electronica and experiential music. Slabs of sound which encapsulate all seasons. Andrews‘ drones make as much sense in the summer as do in autumn, with echoes of Tim Hecker, Ben Frost and Fennesz dotted all throughout this journey.

Guy Andrews - Permanence

The end of 1.2. which leads into 1.3. is a globe-trotting escapade which skirts close to the dance floor, while 1.5. and 1.10. are beautified cinematic sprawls that are backdrops from the sun sharply reflecting off an iceberg. It’s those clashes of seasonal soundscapes which Andrews orchestrates very well on Permanence through scrambled digitised sequencing.

[MT][NT][ET] is a darker proposition with a slew of off-the-wall ideas being incorporated into Andrews shadowy soundscapes with brooding ambience and subtle orchestral arrangements stalking under the mix.

There’s the sound of an anxious pointer pen meeting paper, with Andrews confirming that these sound collages are the result of him writing journal entries, passing off an autobiographical feeling to these compositions.

Then there’s the sound of peaceful breathing patterns which fleetingly drop in and out of the mix all the way through [MT][NT][ET]. Both interesting concepts which humanise Andrews‘ work, providing a thought-provoking companionship to Permanence.

Guy Andrews - [MT][NT][ET]

With both Permanence and [MT][NT][ET], some may draw the comparisons to the world of conceptronica, however it feels much more streamlined than that. There’s a close, humanising feeling that Andrews captures across both releases, which pits against the coldness most conceptronica artists are often guilty of.

No, Guy Andrews‘ creations are not drowning in intellectualism whereby you need a PhD to listen to them. There’s a warm feeling here, like someone’s life unravelling before your eyes with a detailed history of an individual and the ups and downs one sustains through the rigours of life. With [MT][NT][ET] especially, Andrews has translated that on record and that in itself is quite a special feat.

Permanence and [MT][NT][ET] are out now via Houndstooth.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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