Richard Scott’s ‘Several Circles’ is a seamless blend of improvised performances and forensically detailed electronic music that bristles, writhes and grows like some mutated living organism. Recorded between 2013 and 2015 in both Manchester and Berlin, this vital new album is a combination of instant, improvised performances and highly structured acousmatic compositions that have been, in Richard’s own words, “microscopically edited, constructed, layered and mixed over many hours in the studio.” Far from being a dry, academic exercise, Richard’s music shower the ears with delicious and incessantly changing sound pools. Tracks like ‘Song for Ghosts’, ‘Noodles’ and ‘Remains’ showcase Scott’s pure improvisational skill (full of squiggling saw waves, sputtering sine tones & gritty feedback loops) & although the music is far removed from the Techno community of Berlin, some sort of deranged, uncanny version has penetrated the out-rhythmic freewheeling of tracks like ‘Softgrid’ and ‘Grinder’.
At the other end of the spectrum pieces like ‘Surface Music’ and the titular ‘Several Circles’ are cavernously composed, echoing the depth and drama of his emphatic accompaniment and production on Twinkle3 album previously issued by Cusp. In recent years, music created using Modular Synthesizers has come to dominate much of the landscape of experimental electronic music, with a glut of archival material from institutes like GRM being reissued and the popularity and accessibility of the instrumentation drawing a new generation of fanatical upstarts all releasing albums entirely crafted on their chosen kit. In this revitalized, arguably over populated scene, Richard Scott’s ‘Several Circles’ arrives as a stark and distinct anomaly, speaking volumes of his mastery of this customized analogue equipment. The album is a vibrant and exceptional portrait of Richard’s voice as a musician, unencumbered by restrictive themes or fixed compositional techniques, instead offering an all-encompassing view of his practices that, through their very intuition, sound cohesive. It’s an entry in to the already auteristic cannon of Cusp Editions that will surely be held in a pride of place.