This ‘Silicon’ article was written by Michelle Allan, a GIGsoup contributor
With a slightly eccentric collaboration of electro-pop, funk, disco, soul and 90’s R’n’B; the recent release of ‘Personal Computer’ by Silicon (New Zealand-based musician and producer Kody Nielson) is an engaging and quirky experience of ear-luxury from start to finish.
The title track draws the listener in straight away with a satisfying steady funk bass-line, playing back-up to a morishly smooth and continuously shifting vocal melody (in recent music, think Boyz to Men meets Pharrell). A great start, and by track two it’s difficult not to feel compelled to move to the beat with some computer generated synth pop with some frisky, free melodies running throughout.
From track to track we’re taken on a journey that feels like Nielson’s personal experimentation of authenticity into varying styles that could easily clash, but work well with the constant undercurrent of electro-funk. For example: ‘Burning Sugar’ is a dramatic shove into full on 70’s car chase-scene music, whilst ‘I can’t see paradise’ is a kitsch reminiscence of the science-fiction obsessed movies of the late sixties, like a loving tribute to Barbarella. These are wildly contrasting to ‘Little Dancing Baby’, leaning heavily into disco with an enticing indie edge, which sounds like what would happen if Lykke Li were featured in an episode of Adventure time.
The album alternates quickly and before there is time to absorb the previous track we’ve moved into soul-heavy in ‘Love Peace’, a sexy and light-hearted slow jam, then again with ‘Blow and Dope’ where everything comes together conclusively, drawing heavily on ‘Dark side of the moon’ inspired drum intervals and time signature switches complimented by heavy and euphoric synths, and vocal harmonies.
The slower tracks; ‘Submarine’ and ‘Good emoji’, are a little more subdued and seem to be much less demanding by comparison to the rest of the album, but whether Nielson has used these strategically or not, this adds to the overall dynamics and draws out the sheer skill of his work.
This is a great, up-beat album and would certainly perk up any work day morning journey with lasting effects, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys variation in one sitting.
‘Personal Computer’ is out now via Domino Recording.