Sequence Report


Every once in a while an album appears which makes you think, Jesus, how did that happen? Hearing is believing with this debut by Sequence Report, a one off project by new wave analogue master, Tevo Howard

Like when we used to pretend that we took our My Bloody Valentine cassettes back to Our Price because the music it contained make the tape sound faulty, there is a similar anti polish to this album. In an era where music is so massively overproduced to delete all imperfection, Secromance has a healthy fuck you to digital compression and is thrilling because of this approach.

It sounds like he used the same method Portishead used on their debut album, Dummy. Record all your own samples, press them to vinyl acetate and then bash them about on the floor to create as many imperfections and distortion as possible. Howard uses similar techniques here, the automated vocals, mainly female declarations, muffled to a barely decipherable mumble, the tracks sound like they were recorded onto battered old cassettes and digitised with no attempt to improve on the sound come post production, you can even hear the familiar hiss on several of these tracks. Purposefully recording music to sound if it was recorded on tapes should be classed as a shot in the foot in the digital age, but this kind of approach has worked for indie acts such as Aerial Pink and John Maus and more recently, Kompakts Wolfgang Voigt, it works brilliantly for Howard also.

Although the components are undeniably Tevo Howard sounding, this is nothing like the material recorded under his own name. Although theres an analogue approach to the music released under his own name, there is crispness to his other music that isnt here, his other music although not formulaic in the slightest, does stick to the expectations of music based on a 4/4 beat.

The dense atmospherics on a track like Tragedy are overbearing but also distant, its like being in the house next to one holding a really good house party, theres no clarity but you cant help straining to listen in. Other tracks like Possession are undeniably house music but then he throws in a guitar riff and it turns into The Cure, its these twists and turns that make Secromance such a wild ride.  

Throughout the album you hear the influence of early Kraftwerk, the soundtracks to John Carpenter thrillers to dodgy 80s shows like The Equalize, there are also strains of the earliest Chicago house but somehow, Howards studio skill has managed to make such retro fodder sound contemporary. If you liked the Richard D James Analord project, youre gonna love Secromance

Chris Todd

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