Thursday, 27 September 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #330 - Warm Digits, "Keep Warm ... with The Warm Digits"

Saw that there was a collaboration between these guys and Field Music, which I thought needed to be heard. However, it didn't seem to be available, so I moved in this direction instead. Backwards in time to 2011.

I'd heard a couple of tracks before and had formed the impression of a friendlier Add (N) to X - vintage synths buzzing away while a live drum kit keeps things on their toes. Or something. "Warm Welcome" is the opening half-track, which is bursting with positivist scientific bubbling noises and happy feelings. No robots having sex with cartoon women anyway. "Trans Pennine Express" starts with a steam locomotive like grind, slowly picking up momentum - as though Kraftwerk had started in Darlington.

The pace continues, picking up a cowbell en route by the time of "Weapons Destruction", the electronic pulse now giving it a Holy Fuck momentum. It's quite musicianly, I hear jamming in the past. Chances are there is hair. Although the band are from different spots in the North, so that might not happen too often. Handclaps appear in "Grapefruit", slightly phased perhaps, which gives the track a woozy tang. Like off of a grapefruit.

"The Surplus of Seeing" is a bit more swampy and Quatermassy. Noises like pots and pans. "A Warm Front, Coming from the North" is back in the Kraftwerk space again, fanfares and metronomes. The stately progression of the Shipping Forecast, everything in its place. The slightest hint of a kids' drama series from the early Eighties.

The last track "Here Come the Warm Digits" seems such an Eno tribute that I suspect the band name was struck with this title in mind. There's something so gentle and un-rock'n'roll about the sound of Warm Digits; it gets me thinking about lab technicians and Rich Tea biscuits and afternoons. It's music for afternoons. This may be doing the pair a huge disservice. They may well consume half a Colombian hillside of recreational powders before breakfast and brush their teeth with lysergic-infused Jack Daniels. But somehow I suspect not. We need music in the afternoons most of all - to soundtrack staring out the window and wishing work was over.

Rating: Friendly Vintage Buzz out of Cups Of Tea

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