Time Travel







- A Review by Bill Binkelman
Issue #6

Richard Bone

      Richard Bone has done it again! Following hot on the heels of his excellent dub-stylistic ambient recording with John Orsi (A Survey of Remembered Things, reviewed in issue 3) Richard has re-invented ambient-dub/electronica by marrying his wonderfully idiosyncratic approach with his passion for bossa nova music. The result is the incredibly infectious, bouncy, trippy, fun and seductive Electropica. This one should definitely put Richard on the map. If fans of electronica do not gobble this CD up in record numbers, there is no justice in the world.

When I talked to Richard for the interview in issue 3, he mentioned his love affair with the bossa nova musical movement of years past. He mentioned this project and I did a mental “Oh no!” because I have a limited capacity for adventure (I made the same mistake when I first learned of a John Serrie holiday album). Don’t fall into the same trap I did! This is a fantastic recording that will appeal to lovers of sultry smoky electronica. Yeah, there is no such thing -- until now, that is.

Starting off the “The Andean Gray,” Richard dials in the bossa nova rhythms, melded with swirling synths and cool as ice electronica. The song sets the pace for the release and the delicious ear candy to follow. As the song unfolds, Richard brings in breathy flute and piano as the piece morphs into something sexy and film-noirish. After that great beginning, listen to the strains of the title cut, with its synthetic “scratches” in the mix (which made me think of old record albums). Then there’s the oh-so-mellow synth-sax swaying to a bossa nova beat that is just too cool! Swingers unite, baby!

“Waveland” features bouncy percolating rhythms with a hint of dub--and fun galore--as a piano-laced melody line sends you dancing around the room. Fun is the operative word for this recording. Richard had also said in the aforementioned interview that he had little interest in negative or dark-sounding music (as much as he respected practitioners of same). Well, Electropica is the proof of that statement! It is a stone-solid blast from start to finish.

As with all of Richard’s recordings, the sound on this one is state of the art. Head-phones are a must to get the best effect, unless you can crank it at home (apartment dwellers beware)! And you will want to turn up this music to squeeze every delicious note, chord and rhythm from it. It is that good.

It ought to be obvious by now that if you think electronica or electronic music needs to be dark or serious to succeed, you should pass on this one. But, you’re missing out. However you slice it, daddy-o, Electropica is already a serious contender for best release of 1998. For lovers of ambient-dub who don’t mind smiling now and then (are there any of you out there?) try this one on for size. It’s guaranteed to kick start your libido!

- Bill Binkelman -