Andy Stott unveils fourth album Too Many Voices for Modern Love, coming ten years since his debut long player Merciless. Too Many Voices continues his trajectory away from the heavy rain soaked dub-techno and jungle he has produced solo and as part of HATE soundsystem towards a more ethereal, pop-rooted sound.
Starting off with the fractured high-end synth collage of Waiting For You it's clear from the off that this is none other than Andy Stott. Recent single Butterflies continues where his collaborations with his former piano tutor Alison Skidmore left off, its glacial overtone pointing a way upwards towards bigger things than the Manchester warehouse sessions where he cut his teeth. Having recently said this LP has been influenced by the legendary Sidewinder grime sets of Slimzee and Dizzee Rascal but also Japanese pop, New Romantic walks a steady path between the two, its razor sharp 808 layering some destructive distortion against what sounds to be a Korg Triton's diamond textures and his plucked Faith In Strangers-led bassline. For those looking to indulge in the Basic Channel style Stott of old, lashes of early gems such as Fear Of Heights and Credit spring to mind on the slow almost dubstep lurch of First Night Alone, while Forgotten is peak time Daphne style weightless footwork reimagined in the style of Lorenzo Senni.
The grime influence really comes to the forefront on Selfish, shark tooth bass rips against the machine gun like snares coming across like an old Slimzee dubplate battered beyond belief and rewound back from the far future via a fuzzy ghost of a late night Rinse FM session. LP highlight On My Mind continues with the crunchy analogue drums but adds a melancholic down-and-out feel that is both hopefully uplifting while providing a perfect soundtrack for the falling April rain. Over drifts back into the smokey atmospheres and disjointed drum patterns before the vocals finally emerge in full flow just in time for the end of the night on Too Many Voices, a mixture of prime time Cocteau Twins and some kinda Leyland Kirby operatic deception.
Always moving ahead, Too Many Voices finds Andy Stott in a period of transition and change while still exploring the sound he began carving out on the Passed Me By double pack and the quietly seductive Love Nothing 12" but remaining restless and striving to push his sound into new areas. Never wanting to fall into one single characteristic for too long while continuing to operate on his own out the outskirts of any scene. Too many Voices displays Andy Stott as a producer out on the fringe and almost out of time with any of his contemporaries. Basing himself up in the cold, foggy surroundings of his native Manchester, he is continuing to quietly perfect his craft and every now and then stopping to give us just a glimpse before disappearing back into the shadows.