Analogue maps of waking states, organic contortions and textures…. Breakbeat and jungle get stripped to essentials, then stripped down again to an essence. 

Harsh isolation, dystopian dreamscapes, semi-connected catharsis caught up in electronic precision. 

That’s the evolving sound of Blancmange 2.0; collections of stripped down half hooks, building in escalating elaborations, repeated in sheets of thin ice and cool water. This is Neil Arthur from 2016’s Unfurnished Rooms, through to 2017’s Fader and Near Future, through this year’s Blancmange album Wonderlust.

‘It’s Rats to the Ratrace. It’s Rats on the Run…’ I Guess even rats can get tied up in twists. Hard not to see it as some kind of fail, back to scratching around on the decks going down, kicking hard to keep calm in the water. We’re back in UK with the same burn to go, to be living someplace somehow else.

What went wrong? Almost nothing. Three months in the US driving East coast to West then a month in Saigon, Vietnam…

(…and just what it means to want to be ‘somewhere else’)

A show reviewed last year at Rescue Rooms, Nottingham was the first time I really encountered Blancmange. I’d had an awareness, an occasional knowledge of the odd track or accolade, but that show was my main introduction.

Right after the show, once the lights got turned up, I tried grabbing a couple of words. It was last night of tour and then wasn’t the time but I was assured I could grab a word sometime.