Andy Stott returns with a long awaited fourth album! “Too Many Voices” was recorded over the last 18 months and drawing for inspiration from the fourth-world pop of Japan’s Yellow Magic Orchestra as much as it does Triton-fuelled Grime made 25 years later. Somewhere between these two points there’s an oddly aligned vision of the future that seeps through the pores of each of the tracks. It’s a vision of the future as was once imagined; artificial, strange and immaculate.
The album opens with the harmonised, deteriorating pads of the opening Waiting For You and arcs through to the synthetic chamber-pop of the closing title track, referencing Sylvian & Sakamoto’s Bamboo Houses as much as it does the ethereal landscapes of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance. In between, the climate and palette constantly shift, taking in the midnight pop of Butterflies, the humid, breathless House of First Night and the endlessly cascading Forgotten.
Longtime vocal contributor Alison Skidmore features on half the tracks, sometimes augmented by the same simulated materials; voicing the dystopian breakdown on Selfish, at others surrounded by beautiful synth washes, such as on the mercurial Over, or the dreamy, neon-lit New Romantic.
It’s all far removed from the digital synthesis and the abstracted intricacies that define much of the current electronic landscape. The same cybernetic palette is here implanted into more human form; sometimes cold, but more often thrumming with life.