Concretism
Electronica / Ambient Synth
RIYL: Lustmord, Robert Fripp

Listening to the new music from Concretism is like sliding into the depths of a movie soundtrack that accompanies a Michael Mann film, where the music is as important as the city architecture in which the story is filmed. Flowing like some kind of suburban melancholia, Concretism is the purveyor of somber beat-infused electronica that frequently builds to multi-layered arrangements before fading into silence.

Concretism is a musical project started by the UK’s Chris Sharp in 2010. Concretism is a “world of dusty archival sounds and grim Cold War Britain, conjured up using a combination of analogue synthesizers and tape bouncing.” On his Facebook page, Sharp lists his influences as being “strong tea, old video” in an eccentric British way. We say that the end result is music that is profoundly stirring and would not be out of place as the musical foundation for an episode of Stranger Things.

Coming out at the end of April is Concretism’s latest release, For Concrete & Country. There is also an edition of 200 copies pressed on “nuclear bunker hospital bay” turquoise vinyl that you can pre-order now on Bandcamp. It’s a unique description that conveys just how much Sharp cares about crafting an end musical product that is thoroughly consistent with the music that is on it.

Taken from that album and newly released as a preview of sorts, is the song Black Special.  Using taped dialogue from an old British documentary at the start of the track serves as an intriguing preface before the real musical adventure starts at 00:30 when pulsating synthesizers kick in before the workmanlike drum machine also pounds away with seeming grim determination.

In the eight years that Chris Sharp has been writing and producing his own music, he has created a body of work that is remarkably accomplished and should be taken seriously. Long may these dark musical voyages continue.

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By Rob Quicke