Andy Stott Too Many Voices on Limited Edition 2LP
Too Many Voices is the fourth album from Andy Stott, a follow-up to 2014's Faith in Strangers. It was recorded from 2014-16 and sees a diverse spectrum of influences bleed into nine tracks that are as searching as they are memorable. The album draws inspiration from the fourth-world pop of Japan's Yellow Magic Orchestra as much as it does Triton-fueled grime made 25 years later. Somewhere between these two points there's an oddly aligned vision of the future that seeps through the pores of each of the tracks. It's a vision of the future as it was once imagined; artificial, strange, and immaculate. Full of possibilities.
The album opens with the harmonized, deteriorating pads of "Waiting For You" and arcs through to the synthetic chamber pop of the closing title-track, referencing Sylvian and Sakamoto's "Bamboo Houses" as much as it does the ethereal landscapes of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance. In between, the climate and palette constantly shift, taking in the midnight pop of "Butterflies"; the humid, breathless house of "First Night"; and the endlessly cascading "Forgotten." Longtime vocal contributor Alison Skidmore features on half the tracks, sometimes augmented by the same simulated materials as on the dystopian breakdown of "Selfish," and at others surrounded by beautiful synth washes, such as on the mercurial "Over" or the dreamy, neon-lit "New Romantic."
It's all far removed from the digital synthesis and the abstracted intricacies that define much of the current electronic landscape. The same cybernetic palette is here implanted into more human form; sometimes cold, but more often thrumming with life. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.