Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve - The Soft Bounce
With their first proper album since forming nearly a decade ago, the remixing duo with a penchant and adoration of 60s psychedelia have brought into existence a record that can only be described as a musical Frankenstein’s monster. The collaborators behind Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve are the first piece of this puzzle. On paper, they sound like they shouldn't work, comprising of Erol Alkan – founder of Indie Club night Trash (which provided space for early performances by LCD Soundsystem and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s), and Richard Norris – Acid House architect, Techno DJ and sometime Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros collaborator. However their nearly decade long partnership, remixing The Chemical Brothers and Simian Mobile Disco (amongst countless others), is proof that finding that one common ground is sometimes all you need. In this case, it’s the aforementioned 60s psychedelia.
This influence is clearly imprinted throughout the album, but it is certainly not all there is with the welcome addition of a plethora of guest vocalists. From the floaty Eno meets Shoegaze opener “Delicious Light”, to album closer “Third Mynd” with its Lord Buckleyesque beat poetry describing a historical account of the effects of hallucinogens – courtesy of Jon Savage, you never stop in one place for too long. Highlights include “Iron Age” with its beefy Primal Scream Exterminator era riffs with guest vocalist Blaine Harrison, the Bossa Nova meets Stereolab of “Creation” with vocal duties from Hannah Peel and Jane Weaver, and “Diagram Girl” which wouldn’t sound out of place on the Drive soundtrack.
These are just some of the highlights as the album presents a buffet of musical influences and styles, even finding time to bring Euros Childs from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci onto the beautiful “Door to Tomorrow”. While in less capable hands this could easily become derivative, not so with The Soft Bounce which doesn’t present a carbon copy of its influences and isn’t afraid to tear it up to make a new sonic collage.