Chop, or Mr Chop, or Coz Littler (take your pick) seemingly inhabits Ape Recording Studios in Cheshire which acts as a repository for vintage analogics of all shapes, tones and timbres. One assumes that Illuminate has emerged from said space. One thing is for sure – Mr. Chop the curator has made these machines do his bidding with panache and elegance.
One of the trite ripostes to electronic music is that it lacks a “certain humanity” (the equally clichéd “it lacks soul” I completely pompously refuse to deal with any longer). This (surely) can’t be said of Illuminate which charts the interface of humanity and technology with emotion and feeling. Indeed, there is a palpable sense of wry humour here. This is not a po-faced album: it’s one that persistently grins into your face and ear-holes with its multiple musical references, voices vocodered and filtered, and titles (‘Bow Down To The Mutant’, ‘You Want More Life’, ‘Picture Box’).
Illuminate overflows with bubbles and interference, crackles and electro-cackles, with grand symphonic gestures, with ground-shaking mega-chords and more besides. It sits at the glorious intersection of Add N To X and Holy Fuck, or Afrika Bambaataa and Tangerine Dream. It’s really great.
And a great mix here.