iambic
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iambic

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | SELF
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"iambic - Echos"

Score: 7/10

Every once in a while an album comes along that seems to fit perfectly into any situation (see Jordan Volz’s review of Bersarin Quartett’s debut); albums that can stand their ground and demand the fullest attention, and at the same time melt seamlessly into the background without interfering with what’s going on. Brian Eno defined ambient music in a very similar manner, describing it as “[music that can be] actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener.” While that definition may hold perfectly to sum up my sentiments regarding iambic’s latest release, the music is not what I’d refer to as strictly ambient.

Having only encountered Guy Andrews once before, with his debut release under the iambic moniker, Under These Stars, We’ll Sleep Again, I wasn’t expecting much from this newly released EP. Under These Stars… was a decent album, but I had heard better albums along the same lines. Echos however, is a definite step up, an album that combines electronic and acoustic elements to get the most out of both. It is obvious that we are now in the presence of a more capable musician, a painter with a more colorful palette, and a better knowledge of when to apply each color. The concept of mixing trumpets and break beats may sound unnatural to many, and even a bit pretentious, but Andrews somehow makes it seem logical. It is as if they were meant to be played together.

So far, so good I guess. But as the case is with everything life has to offer there are always negative aspects, certain flaws that prevail to pull us down from achieving perfection. The first of these has to be the length of the EP, in my point of view; it should have been expanded to become a full album. It just ends too early, and leaves the listener craving more. The Halogen remix should’ve been bumped off the release and left as a release on Myspace, too. It adds nothing to the songs that precede it and replacing it with another track of iambic's works would have been much better. The other concern I have is that “Suburbium” could easily have been featured on The American Dollar’s breakthrough album A Memory Stream, with a very similar flow and practically the same keyboard sounds.

Last month, I thought Epic45’s In All the Empty Houses would be EP of the year for me, and nothing has changed yet. With a few more listens, though, Echos might as well beat it to the punch, and even if it doesn’t, it might as well be iambic’s best release to date.

-Mohammed Ashraf - The Silent Ballet


Discography

Albums:
2007 Under These Stars, We'll Sleep Again [LP - Laridae Records]
2008 As The Snow Fell [LP - Laridae Records]
2008 Move [EP - Frisk Records]
2009 Echos [EP - Frisk Records]
2010 Nocturnes [EP - Frisk Records]

Remixes:
2009 Argument About Yellow - Some Grips Slip [iambic remix] (Broken World)
2010 Leni Ward - I Want My Heart Back [iambic remix] (The Library Recordings)
2010 Little Dragon - Fortune [iambic remix] (Peacefrog)
2010 Half Seas Over - Here on the Plains [iambic remix] (Brownswood)
2010 Codes in the Clouds - Distant Street Lights [iambic remix] (Erased Tapes)
2010 Husky Rescue - We Shall Burn Bright [iambic remix] (Catskills)

Production:
2011 Codes in the Clouds - As The Spirit Wanes [co-producer] (Erased Tapes)

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Bio

The man behind iambic is Guy Andrews. At the age of 23, with two LPs and three EPs already released, songs appearing on various compilations and remixes for high profile labels such as Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Records, Erased Tapes, Catskills and Peacefrog, the Brighton based producer is already making his mark in the electronic music scene.

Songs can be listened to on the iambic soundcloud account: www.soundcloud.com/iambic

Music video for Codes in the Clouds - Distant Street Lights [iambic remix] (Erased Tapes):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmlhhoKqpwY