After years of playing second fiddle, Blue Shift Emissions saw the Christ. movement gain the notable critic lauding it deserved. Set with the task of following up Liquid Chris H’s fourth full-length (well, second really, being as he doesn’t want you to find his actual first two, both out of print since the late ‘90s), Benbecula wisely granted him carte blanche in formulating an extended-play teaser for their storied Minerals Series monthly subscription mail out. Previously, Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle, the chosen 2003 debut of Christopher (hence Christ period) Horne, 2006’s delayed Blue Shift Emissions, and their surrounding EPs stuck pretty hard to the glacial downtempo formula he helped pioneer as a formative member of Boards Of Canada (whom he left after their groundbreaking Twoism EP on amicable terms). Arriving fashionably late, the Bike EP sees the Edinburgh cinematic chill guru delving into more complex and upbeat designs. For the first time since his “Ache/Eat” contribution to the Music Volume III compilation, Christ. has some real head-bobbing kick.
“Glenbrook” hits that warm spot in your soul and soles under tin can percussion that apes a popping hip-hop beat, chirping distortion, and glowing analogue synths piled up balls deep. All that ethereality flows in and out of a meandering trip-out story of a monkey boy and a tree, so full of childlike whimsy and regret as channelled by a young woman that taking life seriously all of a sudden becomes next to impossible. “Chopper” continues with some mad raunchy breaks, toeing the line between glitchy paranoia and spaced out awe appropriated from a sci-fi cinema classic, but always hinting at that deep ocean of Scottish chill. Mixing the EP together pays off exponentially as the total listening experience—each track trailing off into the next—makes Bike easily the most instantly satisfying release in Horne’s already impressive catalogue. Mark my words, it’ll make even the most adamant atheist among us testify that Christ. is lord.
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// Notes from the Road
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