Voltage Black, 8bitbitchslap - Meccano Roses

Owain Paciuszko 06/06/2010

Rating: 4/5

Some time back I reviewed a release by 8bitbitchslap, a two track record filled with electronic beats and retro craziness that I called 'a slab of fun, imaginative and highly danceable music' and gave 4 of our precious 5 stars to.

Now remonikered as Voltage Black; Ewan Fisher returns with a new record that I'm reviewing belatedly, but almost exactly one year on from the previous release. The two tracks that makes up this double A-side are both called Meccano Roses, whereas the first is Var. 1 and the latter, you guessed it, Var. 2.

Retaining a lot of the retro nostalgic sounds like may draw memories of ambitiously soundtrack Commodore 64 games, Var. 1 is a swooping, wooshing and clattering assembly line of various synthy washes and jarring bleeps and glitchy jitters. At times it's like listening to a midi-version of a grand-standing stadium rock tune, there's a sense of swaggering apocalypse to its ascending and evolving lines, with certain scuzzy motifs recurring like posturing guitar riffs. Meanwhile Var. 2 appears to be a slowed down version of the first, but when a doppler beat kicks in things pick up, with the slower pace and elongated run time allowing Fisher to really stretch out and progress his ideas more fully than the somewhat truncated lead track.

Around the two minute mark things really hit their stride, with an instant head-nod inducing beat accompanied by echoing synths, and a big processed kick drum noise begins hammering away to the extent that you pracitcally want to be running down a badly pixelated corridor gunning down enemies and watching your score multiply. It's a montage of electro nightclub memories pickled into one meaty seven minute track and represents everything that Fisher, in any guise, is particularly masterful at.

Whether this is a progression from his earlier work, I'm not sure... I think the two personas gel together well, but, regardless of the nametag, in the second of these two track Fisher has showcased his considerable talent for exciting and (as I said a year ago) highly danceable music.