• Redthir Jerdisheim

Album review: Whorl Clock - A Time Travel Themed Compilation Album for MSF.


With this album Elektro Vox brings you the second in a series of several 'Guest' review articles trying their hand at their first reviews for our site to help us with the large volume of requests we have had this month! This incredibly in depth review of 'Whorl Clock - A Time Travel Themed Compilation Album' is written by Redthir Jerdisheim.

Released Monday January 11th 2021'Whorl Clock' is the debut release from charity electronic label Three Eyed Cat Records. All the songs on it are time travel inspired with all musicians providing an original song. The album has all sorts- songs about the future, past, present, clocks, dinosaurs, robots, time machines, the big bang and much more- and it's wonderful to see what different artists do with the same simple brief. If you love your music with blips, chips, synths, beats and bass then you will be sure to discover something you love on this album! Featuring synthwave, chiptune, breakcore, ambient and other electronic music from all over the world- UK, Siberia, Arizona, Hungary, Sweden and more. All money made on Bandcamp will be donated to Doctors Without Borders- an international, medical humanitarian organisation working in more than 65 countries around the world. Their medical teams work to save people’s lives in conflict zones, natural disasters and epidemics. Find out more at https://msf.org.uk/

Review

Fancy travelling to a time without coronavirus? From the wires of powering machinery to the exotic landscapes of times past and present, this cute, time-travel themed compilation showcases it all. Beautifully eclectic, awesomely eccentric, and electrically futuristic. This compilation nails its invocation of a surreal sci-fi world.


(Short, factual paragraph): This is a charity compilation where all sales will go to Doctors Without Borders; who provide medical attention in over 65 countries around the world: for those people stuck in warzones, natural disasters and epidemics. For that in and of itself, it's well-worth chipping in a small fund (there's no minimum!) to help the cause.


Shoutout to Sam Bradbury for his cartoon-y and very detailed artwork. The colourful selection of wires and the somewhat psychedelic vortex serve as a nice backdrop for this compilation, especially to the glitchier, mechanical-sounding tracks on here. Anyhow, onto the review:

I personally found this to be a charming, playful compilation. Having known none of the twelve artists contributing their works before, it was awesome to venture into a complete unknown… Which, come to think about it, is exactly what time travel, the theme of the compilation, is. The theme is complemented perfectly by the compilation's sheer unpredictability: after one track finishes, you have no idea what sort of wacky soundscape is gonna come next. Yet in spite of that, the tracks all fit together seamlessly… Or do they? It's arguably the tracks being slightly unfitting that gives this compilation its charm. I like to think of this as an unintentional concept album that continuously derails itself: at least, that's my perception of it, and I'm sticking with it.


There's no better example of this unpredictability than Track 4: 'One Night on the Earth'. After three instrumental tracks: the last of which is the glitchy, bleepy-bloopy, science-infused 'Reverse Engineer'; suddenly the listener is thrust into a nostalgic throwback to bright, catchy 80's synthpop. This upbeat, vocal, melodic song comes out of nowhere and completely throws off the listener.


In order to really understand how this whole compilation fits together (or doesn't fit, depending on your perception!), a track-by-track analysis (with a shoutout to each artist!) is perhaps the best means. Chorus1986 sets the scene with Track 1, the retro-sounding, ambient 'School Night Dreams', which begins with a rhythmic ticking clock which gradually fades as the song evolves into a simple melody immersed in trance-esque sweeping strings. Gradually, the melody builds up, with a nice arp punctuating the crescendo at the end.


Pretty good? Yeah. In truth though, this track does nothing to prepare you for the weird and wonderful delights in this Pandora's Box. Track 2 is 'The 61st Second', by S A Z E R. As a synthwave lover, it should be no surprise that I thoroughly enjoy this track. This is a bite of dark synthwave, that sounds straight out of any of today's retro wave labels. This track nicely bridges the retro feel of 'School Night Dreams' and the dark and distorted...


'Reverse Engineer', which I can only assume is a field recording. A field recording of the time machine of the great scientist Elkingtit. (Or maybe Elkingtit is the lab assistant. Or a bad guy who wants to steal time travel for his own selfish means. You can decide on that one!). This otherworldly, interdimensional track is a chiptune-y festival of glitches, bleep-bloops and Ozric Tentacles-esque modulation experiments. I could imagine this is the sound of a time machine in motion, especially with the track's paradigm shifts. What time you'll end up in after listening to this, is anyone's guess. I ended up back in my own space and time, although my pen has mysteriously disappeared.


...Except