UK Electronica outfit Higher Intelligence Agency release an LP of all new material – Discatron
Fans of classic UK Techno and Electronica will undoubtedly know and have a great affection for the music of the longstanding project Higher Intelligence Agency – formed by Birmingham electronic music experimentalist Robert Bird back in 1992.
Renowned for bringing drum machines and synthesisers to the club night himself and a group of friends ran in the early 90s called Oscillate – Bird has always favoured live improvisation when it comes making music. Higher Intelligence Agency’s debut and landmark album “Colourform” was written and produced in his bedroom studio in Moseley in 1993, collaborating with Steve Chandra Savale (who went on to become Asian Dub Foundation) and other friends from the collective. It cemented the band’s place in the emerging live electronic music scene that sprung up across Europe at the time. A year later in 1994, they also appeared on Warp Records celebrated “Artificial Intelligence II” compilation with “Selenite”, forever cementing a place in UK music’s folklore. Leading to a later collaboration with them mighty Deep Space Network (aka David Moufang & Jonas Grossman).
With more and more interest growing in the global Techno community around the roots and history of IDM, earlier in the year Bird finally decided to reissue his debut LP. As a follow up to this, he’s also chosen to presents some brand new music from his long-running project in the form of a new mini album and this EP.
Named in honour of a portable record player invented in his own hometown of Birmingham, “Discatron” is a classic Higher Intelligence Agency ride into the outreaches of the aural cosmos as Bird powers straight into the opening groove wrapping psychedelic 303 waves and spacey bleeps to a dub-tinged slow motion groove that meanders into your consciousness: playing to a state of calm we could all use more of in these unsettled times. Dropping the tempo a few notches, the similarly dub oriented “3P” judders back and forth to swathes of synthesis and pulsing bass that combine in their own rich harmonic tapestry, well beyond the reach of most points on the dial as we know it.
Without warning, we fully entering the ambient sector as the hushed subbed out waves of “Colourmotion” (only available on digital) take you into a huge leap across the abyss, optimising the use of spatial trajectory to achieve this perfectly calculated sonorous slice. The delightful “B Theory” draws you back to the surface of an exotic moon, teaming with proto lifelike forms, glistening in their making – all basked in the aftermath glow of interstellar fusion. Last but least, ‘Sound Matter’ takes on a wispy feel, as if cloaked in a fine layer of stardust that permeates every which you turn. Perfect for late nights and early mornings, Bird’s return is one such high note in the otherwise gloomy trajectory.