Friday, 3 April 2015

Album Review - Errors - Lease of Life

Errors are Glasgow’s quirky electronic trio.  Armed with their synths, they have been defending the frontline of Scottish electro for nearly ten years now.  The release of their new album Lease of Life sees the band’s first new music since 2012.  A little older now, perhaps a little wiser after extensive touring, their new sounds are richly adorned with worldly influence.

Colossal Estates presents an amalgam of heavenly sounds, laden with sweet strings and choral sound bites.  A determined drum beat builds up, creating some beautiful momentum.  This opener is full of hope and energy, soon warping into a slightly chaotic ending – a promising start and an exciting prologue to the album.

The record’s title track is immediately transcendent, peppered with jungle sounds that create a spiritual sense of adventure with cool layered vocals and fast paced beats.  Spacey synth and even Scottish vibes contribute to the fun amalgam of crazy influences working together to make this exciting and fresh.  The 80s vibe is strong with notable funk – this is a generous feast of sounds, melodies and rhythms that feels alive.

A come down from the chaos, Slow Rotor is chilled and ambient, yet with a quiet majesty from the bold melancholy of the melody.  Build into this fast vocals and atmospheric claps and it creates a headily retrospective feel.  Percussion is used to extend the story with more lovely layered vocals fuelling the emotion and harmony.  The light, hopeful synth at the end feels like a ray of sun.

The album is starting to feel like a wicked 80s jungle with the serious tribal vibes in New Winged Fire.  Determined structure becomes interspersed with tinkling rapid Asian notes and chimes that let you hear the world in a song.

Early Nights isn’t even two minutes long, but the band manage to capture a brief feeling beautifully.  The subdued slow notes take their sweet time; the effect is ultra-dramatic, like a film score or electro-opera.

The mood shifts tangibly with Dull Care, the sombre melody pipes through high vocals, and feels altogether more detached, cold and cosmopolitan.  Errors are masters of mood – the addition of sax soon makes this a jazzy wander through the city at night.  All the while rapid synth bubbles beneath the surface creating a sense of urgency throughout.  Certainly unsettling, this track offers both listening pleasure and pain.

Genuflection’s intro satisfies with pace and catchy claps.  Then the song lets loose into an undulating river of lovely sounds.  The track embodies water – a stream of seriously solid beats that I’m happy to get carried away with.  Jazzy sax is the cream atop of the chocolate fudge cake that this is to my ears.  Whenever this comes on, I want to be dancing.

Asian influences are heard again in Putman Caraibe, where synth melody, percussion and vocals are expertly balanced to create this battle/warrior mood and a real sense of oncoming change.

The final track is a thirteen minute-long gift: Through the Knowledge of Those Who Observe Us is heralded by quiet plucking that dots colour on blank canvas, then a choir of low deep voices splashes warm tones on the piece.  Feelings of celebration, community and unity are augmented by an organ interlude that resonates with the spirituality of the whole record.  Your head is transported to another place, like paradise.  The track fades away beautifully and slowly like a wonderful dream, and thirteen minutes still feels too short.

After listening to this shining new example of an electro record, you will see why these guys have stood the test of time.  Here’s to another ten years of quality music.

- Maura Keane

Errors - Lease of Life is out now via Rock Action Records and is available on double 12" white vinyl, CD and download here.

Be sure to catch them live at the Art School on Saturday 11th April or at Wickerman Festival this summer.

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