Cotton Wolf: Life in Analogue – Album review

Cotton Wolf

Cotton Wolf: Life in Analogue

DL/Vinyl

Bubblewrap Collective

28th April 2017

Louder than War get spellbound by the luscious synths and hypnotic beats of Cardiff duo Cotton Wolf.

Cotton Wolf are Welsh ‘Super Producer’ Llion Robertson and classically-trained composer Seb Goldfinch. Following the critical success of their three previous EPs, Moxa, Cloud City and Catapelt, the union of the two musician’s finally bears the fruit of their debut, full length release. Their nine-track album, Life In Analogue, is released on 28th April by Bubblewrap Collective both digitally and on vinyl.

‘Glosh’ has a synth start leads into very nice squelchy distorted beats with snippets of vocals and found sounds. The euphoric synth throughout is really chilled and has echoes of 808 State. Combined with the thick distorted beats, this results in a gorgeous marriage.

‘Avalon’s spasmodic beats and playful time signatures from the start give this track an experimental and unhinged feel. The off kilter, slightly glitchy feel of the first half leads into another chilled out half. The welsh language vocal on this track ‘Lliwiau’ melds beautifully with the Balearic beats and ethereal electronica. The title track has an analog synth feel that conjures up John Carpenter. Throbbing synth and fuzzy distorted noise envelops the slightly out of sync vocals that again unsettle and build to a noisy crescendo midway. The track starts back up again and the hypnotic throb takes us to the end with even more distortion layered on top. One of the standout tracks on the LP.

‘Vessels’ is a nice short, very Brian Eno-esque atmospheric track that relies again on analog synth. Lovely stuff. And this is followed up quickly with the stuttering electronica of ‘Future Newer’ that gives this a really great back line which turns into an infectious dance track. Another stand out track on the LP. The final track ‘While Night Grows is another chilled out affair with otherworldly samples and snippets of found sounds combined with more beats that battle with the build-up of noise that threatens to overcome the track in a Fuck Buttons-esque way. A great end to this LP which is full of gorgeous chilled moments, danceable beats, field recordings, and luscious noise.

Cotton Wolf are a fiercely innovative duo and must be quite the experience live. Keep an eye out for these two.

Cotton Wolf can be found on their Facebook and they also tweet as @CottonWolfWorld.

Words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.

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