Blackpool, UK-based electronic producer Jonathan Valentine first emerged under his Chevron alias back in 2003 with his debut ‘Swimmin’ Lessons’ seven inch on Planet Mu, and since then he’s continued to remain prolific, with a healthy backcatalogue of albums and EPs to his name on labels including Balkan Recordings and Ad Noiseam.
A year on from the first volume in his ‘Memory Disks’ mini-album series, this second volume offers up a similarly eclectic wander through acid, electro and IDM styles, with a firm focus throughout on the use of vintage analogue equipment. There’s often a sense of the ten tracks collected here paying homage to some of Valentine’s formative musical influences in way that calls to mind a personal mixtape more than anything else.
Whatever the case, it’s certainly a diverse listen. ‘Icebreaker’ calls to mind classic Rephlex / Planet Mu acid-IDM sounds as corrosive 303 lines squiggle against crisp electro breaks and icy synth pads, while elsewhere ‘Do You Wanna Do Me? (Like Someone You Love) ventures off into Joy Division-esque post-punk, as Valentine’s deep vocals echo through reverb against a Peter Hook bassline and juddering tribal drum machines.
Elsewhere, ‘Malibu’ takes things off on hectic wander through manic drum and bass rhythms that calls to mind early Squarepusher or Plug as ‘Amen’ breaks dart treacherously over a backdrop of glassy synth melodies and wildly pitchshifted electronics. If it’s a thrillingly visceral headrush, it proves to be just a taster for ‘Sigh’s hammering descent into breakcore rhythms phased rave stabs and flanged sub-bass wobbles offering this EP’s most hyper-adrenalised moment. Indeed, there’s pretty much something for everyone here, with no real weak moments in sight.