Review: Adam Betts-Colossal Squid


Jazz drummer and electronic musician Adam Betts‘ debut album Colossal Squid is like nothing else you’ll hear all year. It’s brilliant-a sonic hybrid of frenzied percussion and electro sirens which just doesn’t fit into convenient compact niches.As he says:’It’s really a punk album with tape delays instead of guitar chords’. It’s as avant-garde and experimental as you would expect from the man who’s been part of Squarepusher and Three Trapped Tigers, and very playful as well.

Drumbones‘ skittish synths and thunderous drums fuse into a gargantuan beast that eats computers, then just as casually spits out the wires like bones. FUB could be an unholy union between Aphex Twin and John Carpenter, such is its epic scope, and similarly, Hero Shit‘s jittery extended intro melts into a cinematic synth line awaiting a big screen montage of apocalyptic action.

But it’s not all so simple,in terms of trying to pin Betts down. Tadala, the doom-laden ending suggests a dystopian future evoking JG Ballard (who else?) where the machines have won and chaos reigns supreme.But Aneek is absolutely beautiful- a chiming Oriental music box built by automaton digits. Otherworldly, glorious, unique.  Where he goes next cannot be second-guessed, but he’s surely worth following. Colossal is just about right.

(Lorna Irvine)

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Photo: Jo Bongard



Released on Blood & Biscuits on November 25th


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