Mike Atkinson

VDU – Past Future Sequence

Posted in album reviews, LeftLion by Mike A on April 26, 2012

(originally published in LeftLion magazine)

VDU is a new alter-ego for Noel Murphy, an electronic composer and digital artist who also designs music software and hardware. Along with Tom Hill, who subsequently founded Origamibiro, Murphy first established his reputation with Wauvenfold, with releases for the Wichita label and remixes for Super Furry Animals and Brothers In Sound. Last year, the duo reunited for the Blockwerk Orchestra sound installation at Nottingham Castle, and Hill also helped with the mastering on this eight-track collection of instrumental mood pieces.

“For the last couple of years, I have been lamenting the general lack of futurism that has been the Noughties”, says Murphy, whose childhood visions of a gleaming, space-age future have not been matched by 21st century reality. These feelings of nostalgia – for a future which never actually happened – form the emotional starting point for Past Future Sequence. “It might not be the robots and jetpacks we were promised”, he explains,” but if you close your eyes and listen to it whilst wearing a hat fashioned from tin foil, it might go some way to scratching that itch.”

Spanning moods that range from the ethereally soothing (pstftr) to the fidgety and restless (Toad Skull), the mini-album begins with the smoothly undulating D.A.R.P.S, whose constant speeding up and slowing down could have been gimmicky – and yet , somehow, it sounds wholly natural and unforced.

Emerging quietly on New Year’s Day, with next to no promotion, Past Future Sequence deserves the attention of everyone who has an interest in electronic music.

Listen to this album on Bandcamp.

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