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As would happen rather often whilst I wrote for Plan B magazine, it was the esteemed and lovely Frances Morgan that managed to put into words the conglomeration of alphajumble that I filed under ‘how I feel about…’ On this particular occasion, the subject at hand – which had been bothering me at the same rate of acceleration as a mild rash on the inner elbow – was how I felt about the difficulties of writing about electronic music. I think it was on a forum post and I can’t quote her exactly but the gist of the argument was that whilst some of us feel utterly comfortable, confident and ever so slightly arrogant about describing the sounds, the patterns and the subsequent emotions of the ever-varying genres of rock music, when it comes to electronic music, we are lost.

We have no reference points, no writers to refer back to, no-one to thieve from, outright and not really anyone to subconsciously inform our sentence structures. Who are the Lester Bangs, the Nick Kent and the (oh, go on then…) Everett True of electronic music? How best to describe those fabricated squelchings, tidy drum beats and clinical time signatures. Will some dude bitch-slap me if I get my reference points in a jam? Can’t I just say how it makes me feel?

Well, can’t I? I got through three years of a literature degree and I couldn’t tell you the name of a single character from a single book that I read. I’d struggle to tell you who wrote them, after a glass or two. I could tell you how they made me feel, though.

I’ve been doing bits and pieces of work for Alter Ego Management in Detroit (it’s a hell of a commute from Leeds, I tell ya) and you know what, it’s done wonders for many aspects of my life but not my vocabulary.

So, I’ll just say how it makes me feel.

Aaaand first up on the Wheel of Feel is Gregor Tresher’s The Life Wire (Break New Soil Recordings)

Firstly, I feel like I like the first track of the album way more than I like any of the rest of it. ‘Ghosts’ is swish and meaty, kicking off like one of those horror movies that actually scares a hernia out of you. Turned up loud, the bass unsettles the carbon I’ve just ingested, it dominates the track and goes everywhere and nowhere, leaving behind it a supreme sense of unease.

What starts off so promising ends up with me regressing to my summer holidays circa the age of about 11, or some rubbish age like that, waiting for my dad to take me to the swings. Big fucking let-down. Thanks, Gregor. You got me all upset now. You see the vocals on ‘The Very End’ are so thoroughly bog-standard, generic, lifeless, meaningless and sterile, they make me want to string Dave Gahan up with that noose I’ve still got left over from when I was 11. He’s got a lot to answer for.

Following such puerile vocal displays, I cannot sustain any serious interest in the rest of The Life Wire. It begins to remind me of the kind of music that they play in clubs that I don’t really enjoy being at. Where the boys’ naked chests glisten with wax and vomit and you could have your eye out on their sculpted hair. It’s kind of like the soundtrack to those moments when you’ve had enough but the chemicals haven’t quite finished having their wicked way with your psyche. 6am and you’re twitching, turning, dreaming of dreaming, sleeping awake, replaying a 30-second segment of your life until it turns sepia and septic. I would imagine that you will like The Life Wire if you like spending more money on t-shirts than I do on mid-priced wine. I guess I should add some kind of disclaimer, in the way of fairness: this is not a bad album, by any means. I’m just not feeling it.


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