It seems like an age since I heard from our good friends at Dirty Filthy Records. It’s been awful quiet without them around. But what’s this? A new release? Huzzah!!
It’s something a bit different this time. DFR are heading into electronica with English duo Thought Bubble and their new album Around.
Thought Bubble are an alt-electronic duo whose music regularly veers into various noisy skronk fusion pigeonholes. Having spent the last decade or so as members of various psych and spacey fusion bands, on the psychedelic rock festival circuit, keyboardist Chris Cordwell and percussionist Nick Raybould had maintained Thought Bubble as their cherished side project. It’s now time to bring it into the open.
Let’s dive in and see what delights are in store.
The record begins with the ominous and foreboding tones of ‘The Waves’. This is a tune “full of eastern promise” (can any of my readers name that TV advert?) This song has a slouched, downtempo pace, however, that allows room to showcase some stunning rhythmic work alongside some gloriously exotic keyboard textures. It recalls to me the Peace Orchestra album that Peter Kruder put out back in the 90’s. I’m not sure I could pay this track a higher compliment.
The pace picks up on ‘Beatwave’, a krautrock inspired, pedal to the metal freak out. Your attention is demanded right from the get go and is rewarded throughout. Synth strings give way to acid squelches and glitchy synth. Not to mention a cheeky ladies voice popping up from time to time.
There is a nod to Lemon Jelly in the intro to ‘Mobius Trip’. The spoken word intro describing the famous mobius strip being mirrored in the cyclical repetitions of the music. It builds and builds on that foundation, adding guitar and more spoken word making this a truly psychedelic experience.
‘Rat Race’ comes in all anxious and pounding. That feeling is amplified and skewed off on a number of themed tangents. From the tight, fractious percussion to the scattergun synth and samples, this shakes you from the psychedelic stupour of the previous track and slaps you about the face.
Throwing us another curveball is ‘Fluctuate’. This track is beautiful. Its chilled out floaty vibes carry you away and make you feel all warm. Even in the closing section where the tempo drops and the mood gets slightly darker, it still made me smile. A big smile! This is my album highlight!
We close on ‘Devoider’ a spaced out rock jam. This is a cosmic trip amongst the stars. The introduction of a fuzzed out guitar is a welcome new texture to their sonic pallate. It’s wonderful way to close out a much varied and interesting album.
Thought Bubble are clearly fans of the G-Stone and Compost records from the 90’s and they have taken that influence and built something new and unique with it. By playing with tempo and textures they bring us into their world and excite us with each new experience created. This was a very rewarding listen and one I will continue to enjoy.
Around is out now on Dirty Filthy Records!