On his previous album, 2015's 'Into', Vinyl Williams' music seemed to have been beamed in from another planet entirely. The swirling sounds and the vocals buried low in the mix, not to mention song titles like 'Space Age Utopia', hinted at something decidedly extra-terrestrial.
For follow-up "Brunei", Vinyl Williams brings things into sharper focus. The percussion is much tauter and more regimented, and the krautrock leanings are increasingly noticeable. In fact, with motorik beats and oscillating bass-lines, 'Utopia' often resembles mid-90s era Stereolab, particularly on the fixed groove of 'Evol'.
When some artists take a step towards the centre, it's means they also lose what made them distinctive in the first place. However, Williams manages to retain the transportative element of his previous work while slightly neatening the edges. Make no mistake, it’s not as if "Brunei" will be getting daytime commercial radio airplay any time soon; it's just that the songs now seem to hang off some sort of framework rather than being a loose collection of ethereal riffs. Put simply, Vinyl Williams is out of this world.
Words: Joe Rivers
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