Sculpture Membrane Pop on LP
Membrane Pop (2014) is the debut Software Recording Co. release by experimental duo Sculpture. The self-described opto-musical agglomerate was born in 2008 after a chance encounter between British musician Dan Hayhurst and New Zealand animator Reuben Sutherland. By combining practices, the pair's first test splattered a psychedelic palette that pushed them to explore sensorial intricacies emerging from chance operations.
Raw materials for Sculpture's music include a mix of analog and digital practices. In Hayhurst and Sutherland's hands, tape manipulation, samples, found sounds, aleatoric and algorithmic programming and live improvisation become more complementary than you might imagine. Sculpture draws from experimentalism to promote new potentials for pop and electronic music in an age where many of our sci-fi fantasies have become mundane occurrences.
"I'm aiming to make a coherent, adventurous electronic pop record with its own voice and identity," Hayhurst explains. "I don't think experimental music has to be dark, difﬁcult or joyless. I try to make something playful, and maybe a little absurd."
At the center of Membrane Pop is a phenomenological approach to sound and performance. "Symbolic Molecule" is a morphing, unsettled groove, but its addictive properties remain potent. "Polymorphic Operator" bubbles with a sort of chemical effervescence; the ghost of Jamaican dub modulating itself into an infinite haze. Sculpture's compositional predilection emerges amidst scrambled sound worlds in "Hackle Scam Populator," while "Distraction Display" is perhaps the closest ambient cut on the record.