It has been three years since British electronic weaving producer Conformist released his debut album Paid to Fake It to swiftly draw attention and acclaim. It was a weird and often psychotic tapestry of sound and samples which simply ignited the imagination as enjoyably as it did ears. Now the Cardiff born conjuror is back with its successor, the equally as dramatic and compelling Lifestyle Bible. It is more of the same creative adventure but with a new honing of inventiveness amid greater suggestive collages of sound.
Conformist is the project of Michael Simmons, who as mentioned stirred up attention with the 2013 release of Paid to Fake It. Written between 2014 and 2016, the Jerome Schmitt (Alt-J, Diplo, Mr Scruff) mastered Lifestyle Bible is an unrelenting flickering of sound and incisive sampling, a non-stop parade of textures and aural suggestiveness but with a tightness to its weaves and greater rounded character to its songs which insists Conformist is a proposition if not necessarily ahead of the game is certainly weaving its own creative field.
The previous album drew comparisons to the likes of Steinski, The Dust Brothers, Avalanches, and Aphex Twin. They are references again easy to offer up for Lifestyle Bible but as suggested Simmons is honing a unique proposal with every new track. As opener Trust Exercises entangles ears, swiftly a new air of adventure to the album escapes its creator, the track virtually creating its weave before ears as strands of electronic intrigue and twisting samples interlock and unite as it emerges. Repetition and sonic psychosis only add to the brewing landscape of persuasion, all elements tempting rather than forcibly taking attention but successful all the same.
The following industrially stalked electro punk romp of Rock n Roll Dead Man slips straight out of the final lure of its predecessor, quickly parading commanding beats as hooks and strands of sound wind around the imagination. Again it is a perpetual stabbing of sounds bound in melodic mischief; like a disorientated rocker lurching from hook to hook with endearing prowess before stepping aside for new single Komputer Jenerated and its funk ‘n’ roll swing of electronics. There is a whiff of Yello to the devilry soon baiting and enslaving the senses, its sudden stop and go moments and off kilter twists all adding fuel to one fiery captivating ride.
Next up Harm Hides at Home is a slower bloomer though straight away it has ears fully engaged but it is with every passing minute and listen that layer by layer it reveals its compelling depths whilst coming over with fresh character each and every time whilst swinging from the same constantly seductive vine of melodic enterprise.
The variety within the album continues as the warped presence and psychosis of Life! Death! Prizes! clambers psychotically across the senses and imagination before the excellent A Snake Eating Its Own Tail saunters through ever magnetic creative circles, each rotation a writhing web of electronic provocation with a flavoursome touch of Pop Will Eat Itself to it.
The album is completed by the screwy exploits of firstly Art Colony, a pixilated jungle of beats and electronics which again inescapably conjures new adventures within thoughts with every listen, and lastly the enveloping melodic and sinister drama of the Nothing Important Happened Today. Intimate in its haunting proposal courted by ominous noir lit shadows, the track is almost a baiting of the emotions; a daring of thinking all is well as dangers lurk in an encroaching sombre dark.
It is a fine and compelling end to another great proposition from Conformist. Lifestyle Bible is an album which will trap and excite all who like their imaginations to be twisted and turned inside out by their electronic music, as well as their eager ears.
Lifestyle Bible is released October 14th through Consumer Consumer Records @ http://www.conformistmusic.co.uk/shop/4587936298/lifestyle-bible—cd-album/10915384
Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016
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