In rockier days, the foremost album that piqued my interest in truly experimental ‘alternative’ music was the sole LP of a little-known UK band, Miocene, called A Perfect Life with a View of the Swamp. It was unapologetic in simply juxtaposing rather than necessarily assimilating its disparate genres of nu-metal, prog, electronica, IDM and hip-hop, and in doing so offered truly accomplished music of astonishing unpredictability and variety.
Australia may well have just unleashed Miocene’s spiritual successor.
The claimant goes by the name of Wyrok, a youthful and precocious musician from Canberra whose musical development started in a classical pen, before he broke out and started running amok in a field of electronics and guitars. ‘Music without boundaries,’ his biography asserts, ‘allows full expression of oneself.’ From the genre-bounding nature of the three tracks on his freely available debut recording, Wireframe, one could therefore logically deduce that he must be an interesting guy to be around. Opener “Saturday’s Reflection” starts bouncily enough, perhaps conveying that moment immediately after waking when trouble’s tendrils have yet to ensnare our consciousness. The chirpy and numerous counter melodies may all sound like synths, but at least one layer’s derivation is in fact a frying pan. (Wyrok obviously likes to express himself in the kitchen as well.) The synthesised polyphony drops out abruptly as it encroaches on three minutes, before spacious field recordings and some barely intelligible rapping crescendo into a more sombre final act. The blissful morning fugue – in both senses of the word – has evaporated. Echoes of fellow countrymen PVT reverberate through the orchestral synths, tight beats and classical-tinged guitar solo.
“Almost Gone” greets and dismisses a startling array of genres, as drum ‘n’ bass, an 8-bit bass synth solo and a slightly less welcome rock onslaught lead multiple cameo roles in support of the electronica protagonist. Sweeping digital orchestration as well as the tic and bleep of skittish electronics even call to mind the surely inimitable World’s End Girlfriend. Unfortunately, “Eightyten” ends the EP on a slightly subdued note, its simplistic piano intro reminiscent of Mogwai’s “I Know You Are But What Am I?”, before the beat kicks it to propel it away from such comparisons.
As can no doubt be gathered from the scattered references, there are many hints – whether intended or not – of other artists and bands throughout Wireframe. Yet despite this, the music is assured and the production controlled; most impressive of all, it somehow avoids any sense of feeling derivative. If this early onslaught represents a mere wireframe, sign me up for a full-fleshed model. (Chris Redfearn)