Severant, Ex-Vex’d man Jamie Teasedale’s debut as Kuedo, is an ultra modern record. An album that, unlikely as it sounds, encompasses the huge (now retro-)futurist vistas of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream as well as the modern crisp, clean, energetic beats and rhythms of coke rap. Teasedale has said he is interested in dreamlike states, fantasy worlds and the feeling of coming out of a daydream. This is the soundtrack to a future half seen; half thrilling inspiration half terror.
Track titles like Vectoral or Ant City are the epitome of forward thinking visions of high-tech society. Ideas more associated with the techno-cult modernism than with the materialist solipsism of coke rap. But, when the tempo hits full tilt the sound suggest the Vorticists and their obsession with movement, speed; at its bleakest, and most constricting the Constructivist’s cold utilitarian approach to art as oppressive tool comes to mind.
This is an album borne of emotional turmoil, and while the subject is not made explicit (titles such as Shutter Girl andTruth Flood hint at tears and heartbreak), there is a strong, sad undercurrent flowing through this music. A soundtrack to heartbreak built from mournful, longing melodies and interspersed with sharp stabs, but it does not wallow, instead it barrels a long at a breakneck speed.
For Kuedo this is an album ‘on the side of modernism,’ implicit in that are the positive and negative aspects of a movement that can both be thrusting, and dynamic as well as cold and alienating. Bouyant and almost playful, opening track Visioning Shared Tomorrows straddles both the idealism of the modernist vision of the future, and the optimistic first flushes of love. By the closing track, Memory Rain, we have reached the antithesis of this; a sad resignation softened only in the remembering of what once was.
Severant is the sound of a man, distraught and throwing himself in to his work, moving on. For what else does a forward looking, forward moving philosophy like modernism do but move forward, get beyond. The results are breathtaking.
Severant will be is available to pre-order on Planet Mu now and will be released on 17 October 2011
This post originally appeared on The What Where When on 8 October 2011