When developing things, you’re never quite sure how they’ll turn out. That hasn’t stopped the Research & Development labs from buzzing with activity into the late hours of the night. As a result, we’re presented with a stunning five piece EP from Ryan Bartlett, otherwise known as Robots Read Fiction. Let’s see what that’s all about, shall we?
What’s on offer here is probably one of the most diverse selection of genres I’ve seen to coexist on a singular extended play. Through the moody title track and its crystal clear piano melody, one gets a fantastic intro into the world that Robots Read Fiction has constructed. Its gorgeous cinematic atmosphere guarantees this production would’t feel out of place on a proper film or game OST.
Switching things up a tad, we are confronted with the glitchy sounds of Bleeding Fingers. An intriguing array of filtering and layering serves as our first encounter with the more experimental side of this EP. Most of all, I appreciate the order that results from what seems at first an incompatible series of sounds, which lends the track and almost techy feeling. If there’s some alien intelligence out there, I bet they’re kicking themselves right now for not having such awesome tunes.
Rolling onto number three, we get the real gemstone of this lineup, Jewel. Sporting a more familiar breaks arrangement, it sheds none of the interesting edge the others have exhibited. Its breakdown stands out as a classy moment of respite among the swirling breakbeat sounds present throughout. One of the highlights of the EP for me, personally.
Take one step further, and you’re dropped right onto the assembly line of Manufactory. Track number four, besides having the longest run time, also manages to present a very compelling arrangement, due in no small part to its breaks and experimental fusion. The rare drawn out vocals further focus your attention on the tremendous atmosphere available for all to experience, triggering the ever sought-after goose bumps.
Closing proceedings is a track really worth pondering, the ridiculously good Just A Thought. Out of the five productions on here, this is perhaps the most difficult to pin down, due to its sheer multitude of influences. Opposites blend together in a wonderful roller coaster of atmospheric slices, much to one’s delight. In truth, this probably has to be my absolute favourite off of the EP. Fantastic work.
With nary a rushed sound in sight, Robots Read Fiction‘s Space Opera represents a collection of cleverly crafted, multi-influence productions worthy of even the most picky individual’s attention. You can have a listen for yourself via the playlist below, and pick it up from whichever digital storefront you prefer, also linked below. 🙂
Country: UK / Style: Breaks, Experimental, IDM / Year: 2017 / Label: Research & Development Records
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