Working from The Vennel, his home studio in South Queensferry, Scotland, composer/producer Ben Chatwin creates a musical language permeated with an ambiguity, or tension, between the electronic and acoustic worlds. Much more than just a meeting of the two, what emerges is a daring, vivid and emotionally-charged music unshackled from a traditional sense of structure and genre. Following The Sleeper Awakes (2015) and Heat & Entropy (2016), Staccato Signals is Chatwin's third album under his own name, a bolder and more ambitious record than anything he has written before, largely the result of relinquishing different levels of control over the musical process.
It's an album which smolders with an almost aggressive darkness, yet one that is laced with melodic glimmers of light. This constant pull between the acoustic and the electronic, man versus machine, and the agile production Ben utilized to maintain their balance, is what gives Staccato Signals its powerful and beguiling character. Throughout the LP mournful strings are engulfed by harsh, all-encompassing synths, while disorienting climaxes of blazing electronics recall the deafening loudness of an inferno. Yet while the jagged, synthesized textures that needle the album together might call to mind such devastating imagery, the acoustic instruments that feature throughout the album continuously provide a more human counterbalance.