PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Tech-House Producer Peter Ibbetson Blossoms on 'Control Yourself'

Publicity photo via Bandcamp

Peter Ibbetson serves further notice as to why he is such a distinctive and exciting talent with his new EP of four, impeccably layered, tech-house tracks.

Control Yourself
Peter Ibbetson

Peter Ibbetson

6 September 2019

British producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist, Peter Ibbetson first made waves with his stunning Rivals EP. With a slew of remixes under his belt, he returns with the follow-up, Control Yourself. Made up of four, impeccably layered, tech-house tracks, he serves further notice as to why he is such a distinctive and exciting talent.

With his articulate, fluid manipulation of electronics, Ibbetson draws in a myriad of sonic ideas like a sponge. He builds a richly detailed sonic space for the listener to inhabit as tracks fluctuate from languid grooves to snapping, dancefloor-ready beats all within the blink of an eye.

The slow-burning opener, "Thistle Hotels" begins with a sweeping, majestic grace as the gentle breath of electronics give way to crisp, techno percussion and writhing synth lines that drift in and out of focus. Each element moves with a graceful fluency as hooks and melodies are carefully folded in to create strikingly rich and vivid textures. Soon, Ibbetson brings in sighing, wordless vocal loops that imbue the piece with a sense of humanity. It's a prime example of the organic and synthetic elements of his work harmonizing beautifully.

"Control Yourself" continues in the same vein with a steady beat and swirling electronics that steadily disperse like fresh plumes of smoke. Just as the atmospheric sounds seem to collapse in on themselves, trembling electronics give way to an eruption of razor-sharp synths. As the track builds and builds, it absorbs more and more energy as Ibbetson drives it to a frenetic finish.

There are warmth and fluidity to Ibbetson's sound, with each musical idea afforded the time to roll into the next. Each track is a mini journey, with it impossible to predict the final destination. Every shift in tempo moves the track along to a whole new, previously unexplored place.

With washes of synths and idling beats, "Then There Was…" invites a little more time for reflection. With ambient, droning passages, Ibbetson creates a wonderfully evocative, comforting soundscape. As the crisp, metallic percussion and ringing synths kick in, the effect is like being roused from slumber by the call of an alarm that gradually breaches your consciousness.

The EP closes with the appropriately titled, "Goodbye". Built around off-kilter, slightly discordant synths, it feels as if two separate songs are fighting for the same space. It's dizzyingly effective as the synths and gently punched pads gradually evolve before splintering into a euphoric, rainbow of electronics.

Ibbetson's second EP furthers his sonic vision to stunning effect. In some respects, the EP feels more fully formed than Rivals, with buds of electronics given time to flower until reaching full bloom gradually. Each track has its own, distinctive identity but together Control Yourself becomes a gloriously rewarding listening experience.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Is Carl Nevill's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.


Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.


Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".


John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.


The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.


Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.


In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.


Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.