Matt Parker: The Imitation Archive


The Imitation Archive is an album produced solely from field recordings at the UK’s National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, where Matt Parker spent 2 months as the artist in residence in early 2015.

And it’s magnificent.

It’s an album made up of 10 mostly quite short tracks, opening with “WITCH” – a track that sets the tone for the whole album, introducing the clacking and clicking of the Harwell Dekatron Computer, before leading into the blissful drone of “The Bold and The Beautiful”.

It just gets better and better from there, “Test Patterns” is all scratching hiss building to a static crescendo in just 44 glorious seconds. “Terminal” continues the static hiss, combining it with dark foreboding percussion and is one of the absolute highlights of the album.

One of my favourite things about the album is the way Parker has delved way back to some of the earliest examples of British computing such as the WITCH and Colossus (and the ‘Bombe’ – the decryption device designed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, the calming whirring and buzzing drone of which can be heard on “Bombes of Bletchley”). This ensures the album is far removed from the 1980s style chiptunes that some people associate with the sounds of retro computers.

Get the Imitation Archive from Bandcamp – if you’re into experimental noise and drone then it’s an essential purchase

The Imitation Archive (Teaser) from earthkeptwarm on Vimeo.



About Pete Collins

Bundle of wasted potential. Music & Retro Gaming blogger, and bass player for Flange Circus.

Posted on September 15, 2015, in Album reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for the review Pete. It’s been a great pleasure working on The Imitation Archive. The archive itself (over 100 unique recordings of the collection at The National Museum of Computing) is available to collect from the Britsh Library Sound and Vision Archive. I will be making a BitTorrent bundle soon of the archive material. Idea being, to open up the sounds of the collection for everyone to make music with it.

    More news via Twitter to follow later this week.

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