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They Shook Hands For Hours

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Stunning solo album of glitchy electronica, tape hiss and gaseous ambience, combined with organic instrumentation within a set of tracks which condense avant garde styles into near pop formats.

"Electronics today seem to fall into two very distinct categories. One is the reverential recreation of the house/rave music of the late 80s, note perfect right down to the very last sampled siren. The other current trend sees bands using keyboards very much as if they are guitars. Sequencers have fallen from favour, and any number of angular types are thrashing it out with powerchords generated on 12-key machines.

Then there’s the world of experimentalism, which Fieldhead function amongst, and things are moving in that area also. After what seemed like an eternity of near apologetic blips and bleeps, artists such as Paul Elam (whose project Fieldhead is) are eschewing intricacy in favour of a back-to-minimalism approach that effectively rewrites the programming on what an electronic artist can and cannot do. Loud, bass heavy and not too far removed from actual funk, Fieldhead are at work deep within the parameters of this next wave of  electrocrash, namechecking other artists whom you are unlikely to hear of outside their own publicity, and making a bigger, louder, and more intriuging noise than, given any of my own preconceptions about music of this type, I was entirely prepared to hear.

Sometimes, it could seem that the electronic world was uniformly neutered in 1995 or thereabouts and could be heard retreating meekly into a tunelessly repetitive dead end ever more softly. The likes of Fieldhead are quite cheerfully wrecking the entire ringtone aesthetic and replacing it with something altogether more involved, intense and that also retains the sense of mystique which the best electronica always contains. And while Fieldhead are/is only one step away from a full-blown electrofunk album, one step for a tape looping obscurantist is a one giant leap for a dance act, and the elements of dub percussion only highlight the fragments of silence that holds Fieldheads assault on our senses in one piece.

There is no end of possible applications for sound of this type nowadays, a white noise overdrive that could at any moment reassemble itself into an all-out dancefloor crash. Fieldhead is a name to watch out for, as producers, performers, or just the faceless mavericks they undoubtedly are. Play loud." DOA

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