Michael Santos – The Happy Error (Baskaru Records)

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Having only released two limited edition CD-Rs, UK artist Michael Santos unloads his third release, The Happy Error. Coming into his electronics from the softer side of things Santos melds together a series of undulating romances borne on waves of quiet morning and late, late afternoon sleep.

Opening with a sort of quiet, lingering glow in the first and title track, Santos makes his appearance known and doesn’ move too far from what he has set up. Airy, light, peaceful, very little percussion, movement appears in the form slowly appearing phrases being bled and washed into each other. “Swing Deluxe’ lets a familiar chord pattern to wander through its lengths amid tiny crackles and electrical hiss, as if the tiny sparks and fires inside his computer had been recorded and re-ordered for the piece. “Supercolour’ with its shiny backwards tape loops sound like birds warbling in the dawn and again with soft crackling speaker pops moves softly through the middle of the disc. All the titles, in fact, are aptly named. All the way through are joyous explorations through light-drawn chemical and computer realms. Until later on, in the form of “Upper Cosh,’ which, while still being entirely cute, is a little rawer and sharper but things fall back into the lazy twinkle of stars for the closer, “Returning Champion.’

Based around a more textural than melodic framework, Santos makes a delightful departure from your more beat-driven works and hones it down to the simple ambience of the accident. The light cracks from electrical wires made it through each and every track without fail that I began to wonder if they were there on purpose or whether they were my stereo’ own happy error.

Joel Hedrick

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