Album Review by Mark Bayross
BLUE LIGHT FEVER is the debut album from South Londoner Matt Preston, a self-declared miscreant who happens to be a classically-trained musician and chorist. Having ditched the Royal College of Music for a sound-recording course in Salford and an apprenticeship touring the subterranean dives of the city, the resulting soundclash was born – a mixture of urban funk and dark, industrial paranoia.
Matt’s time working with legendary trance-terrorists Coil shows throughout the album – deep basslines and grimy beats underpin spacey samples, creepy synth-lines and malfunctioning electronics. This is night-time music that creeps into your head and burrows its way into your subconscious – think Tricky, Techno-Animal, Psychic TV…
The influence of hip-hop and dub is evident throughout, as are ISDN-era Future Sound Of London and the edgy grooves of bands like 23 Skiddoo (the squalling jazz of BURNING), Recoil (the cascading piano of FIREBALL), and Haujobb (the guitar-sampling IDM of SPITE ZOO).
Central to the album is forthcoming single SHUTDOWN, an ambitious four-part epic spanning trip-hop, electro (with an incendiary vocal from Manchester street poet Adam McConnachie), illbient, and wah-wahed techno-rock.
“I like music which makes me feel scared, you know, evil music,” says Matt. Well, he must be delighted with BLUE LIGHT FEVER because it’s a downtempo masterpiece of invention, powerful atmospherics and varied sounds. The paranoia may make all passing cars seem “like the Old Bill” to Matt (hence the name), but it’s helped him craft a stunning album.