A strangely affecting tape by UK producer Matthew Greasley, Fieldwork is filled with glorious small details that help it stand out in a ridiculously busy niche. Greasley’s eight tracks stay relatively concise, and reject standard song structures. They float freely, utilising an open ended palette familiar to Boards Of Canada fans, and similarly well versed in discerning rolling green hillsides amid spacey synths and beats. Opening track ‘Choke’ delights in a strange shuffle and lurching synth line which never quite slots into a groove – an effect wheeled out throughout the record. Fieldwork has a real mix or energy levels throughout, hinting at snare drum motorik on ‘Drillin’’, sparse atmospheres around a scarred Jungle beat on ‘Sinthool’, and even a simmering Ben Frostian rumble on ‘Glorious’ that’s replete with both a real life choir and some devilish percussion always kept at more than an arm’s length deep. If the Warp label didn’t exist this album would be a lot more essential – but it should say something about how great Fieldwork is that in a world where Warp does exist, I’ve gone back and spun it more than a few extra times.
I don’t know about the other reviewers here, but most of what I get is electronica. Given that, I’ve developed quite a taste for it and feel that as a result I’m better able to discern the distinctions much better than when I started. So thanks, Cassette Gods!
This is electronic but with a heavy influence of soundtrack stylings and even smooth jazz which, in this case, makes for a very listenable experience. The tape is very well recorded, in fact one of the best sounding (fidelity wise) tapes I’ve heard come through here yet.
Matthew Greasley is a UK based multi-media artist and musician with several releases to his credit. There are only 25 of these tapes (and I have one) which were duplicated real-time unto TDK tape. The insert is on nice linen paper, with artwork by Ben Holmes. Purchasing the tape allows you unlimited streaming via bandcamp. It’s a nice package, but you better hurry over to Bandcamp if you want one.