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Brace yourselves for a heavy dose of hi-tech futurisms from a long time Sneaker associate. Laurie Osborne has held true to his free-spirited musical demeanour since his breakthrough dubstep years, springing across tempos and styles while holding fast to a deep-rooted raver’s instinct. His profound appreciation and knowledge of vast oceans of music injects his sound with a boundless, playful enthusiasm. What better format then for the mighty Appleblim to stretch his legs than on a tape? (The first to be spooled out on Sneaker Social Club, no less.)
As was evident with his 2018 LP Life In A Laser and his ALSO collaboration with Second Storey, Osborne speaks fluently in the techno and electro vernacular as much as UK soundsystem gear, channeling a sparkling, melodic energy which typified those genres at their inception. On Infinite Hieroglyphics, Osborne trips into expansive imagined vistas and fizzy furrows with a pervasive sub-bass footing. At times the album is cosy and intimate, as on the spangled back room dubbings of ‘Zephyr’, while elsewhere it stretches up and out with the extroverted square wave hyper-flex of ‘Riley’s Spiral’. Throughout though, the track structures remain restless and fluid, moving between phases with the non-linearity we cherish in the most creative rave music. At every turn a new synth lick vibrates into ear shot, a fresh rhythmic angle shifts the weight of the groove or an unexpected FX swerve splays out the sonic narrative.
Beyond the cassette trappings of the full album, an accompanying 12” sampler pulls together four tracks primed for soundsystem deployment. But as we’ve come to expect from Appleblim, these cuts are likely to subvert expectation and stimulate a more profound response in the dance – open-hearted and adventurous, a little bit alien and in thrall to the technology, like rave music was always meant to be.
By Rubin Farr
300 copies, viny only.
Sam Black's first full album, a bit of everything, but nice. Recommended.