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Bomb The Bass - Future Chaos

Bomb The Bass, Future Chaos

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

AFTER an almost 15-year hiatus since his last studio album, Clear, Tim Simenon – aka Bomb The Bass – returns with a new collection of work that aims to make him sound relevant once again. It almost does.

Synth-heavy and boasting guest vocals from the likes of Mark Lanegan (excellent), Jon Spencer (suitably moody) and Paul Conboy, to name a few, it’s a typically atmospheric listen without ever really being as vital as Simenon’s best work.

In his ’80s heyday, Simenon remixed and produced for the likes of Depeche Mode, Massive Attack and Bjork, as well as co-producing Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stane and Seal’s Crazy. But while he certainly had his finger on the pulse of that musical era, the latest work seems to be missing a beat in places.

Things begin promisingly with the foreboding Smog, which drops a haunting, vaguely Thom Yorke-style set of vocals from APE’s Conboy, but then the album slips a little with Butterfingers, featuring Brighton Krautrockers Fujiya * Miyagi. There’s even a dated Leftfield complex surrounding Conboy’s return on Old John.

By the time you reach Burn The Bunker things are beginning to sound repetitive, with a foreboding, haunted set of vocals and atmospheric beats once again ushering the song in. It unfolds into a halfway decent offering, but the doubts are rapidly setting in.

No Bones redeems things slightly with its ambient wave-style beats and synths, while Mark Lanegan guests on the album’s one truly standout track, Black River, his gruff, menacing vocals providing a perfect accompaniment to the sharp beats and weird synths.

But Jon Spencer’s bluesy vocals aren’t really utilised to their best on Fuzzbox, a boom-blip heavy final offering that marks a decidedly disappointing finale.

Bomb The Bass may have been one of the seminal acts of the ’80s and early ’90s, but their second coming isn’t really anything worth shouting about.

Download picks: Smog, Black River, No Bones

Track listing:

  1. Smog
  2. Butterfingers – Bomb The Bass & Fujiya/Miyagi
  3. Old John
  4. Burn The Bunker – Bomb The Bass & Toob
  5. So Special
  6. No Bones
  7. Black River – Bomb The Bass & Mark Lanegan
  8. Hold Me Up
  9. Fuzzbox – Bomb The Bass & Jon Spencer