The Cyclist: Bones in Motion

[20 June 2013]

By Logan Smithson

Anyone can make music these days. Not only can anyone make music, but anyone can create an album and spread it across the globe via the wonderful tool known as the Internet. Advancements in technology have made it not only easy to distribute your music to a vast audience, but creating the product has also been simplified to a degree that would’ve been unimaginable 15 or 20 years ago. Making music no longer requires access to many musical instruments or even a recording studio. Andrew Morrison is proof that one man can do it all by himself with nothing more than a keyboard and a computer (and some programs to go with it).

Performing under the moniker the Cyclist, the Northern Ireland-based producer has put together a collection of short and relatively modest electronic beats. Bones in Motion presents clashes of styles with relaxed, trance-like beats that make you want to move. Use of dream-like synthesizers are accompanied by hard-hitting snares and thumping hi-hats that give off an instrumental hip-hop vibe. Many songs are around the two minute mark, with some even being below it, which keeps things moving at a fast pace, leaving the listener to anticipate what will come next. These compendious tracks are combated by a handful of rather lengthy tracks. Thankfully, the tracks that push six or seven minutes offer a different formula, and often change it up in a way that feels like there are actually separate tracks in one.

So is this ease of access to the music industry a good thing? Obviously if you’re a nobody who is trying to make it big, you’re loving this. The door is wide open for you to get your music out there in a way that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago. However, for the listener it can be a different story. On the positive side, you’ve got a nearly unlimited supply of new music to choose from. It’s hard to not find something out there that you like. The bad side of this, though, is that the market can become flooded with artists who are not so great, making it harder for the listener to find music that he or she actually wants to hear.

An artist like the Cyclist falls somewhere in the middle of the argument. Bones in Motion provides a sound that will appeal to a niche audience. If you’re a casual fan of electronic music, you might find yourself bored by Bones in Motion. Nothing is going to take you by surprise with this album. The compositions aren’t unprecedented and the use of sampling is something that you can hear done just as well, if not better, by many other producers. However, there is a crowd that the Cyclist is going to 100% appeal to. In comparison to the rest of the electronic scene, The Cyclist seems more imaginative with his incorporation of deep house and ambient house techniques. These are the two parties who benefit from this magical World Wide Web. The Cyclist is able to get his music heard and loved by a gallery who was looking just for this style of music.

With the Cyclist, you have to know what you’re getting into. This music isn’t flashy or attention grabbing. If you’re expecting an incredible experience that offers new musical styles and experiments in newfangled ways, it’s likely that this album isn’t the one for you. Bones in Motion isn’t super catchy and you probably won’t get its tunes stuck in your head all day. “Feel Beauty” is upbeat and makes excellent use of synthesizers. If you want a glimpse of what The Cyclist is about, check out “Stove”, that one has got quite a groove. “Makeshift” makes great use of quick drums and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Bones in Motion is simplistic electronic music, and it fits that bill quite well. At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/171998-the-cyclist-bones-in-motion/