Andy Stott
Never the Right Time


3.5
great

Review

by Erwann S. CONTRIBUTOR (41 Reviews)
April 17th, 2021 | 63 replies


Release Date: 04/16/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A sound engineer's wet dream

Andy Stott's biggest problem is his catalog. It's just too damn consistent, too good to be ignored; each new release has got to pass the difficult test of constant comparison. Each stylistic change is going to be judged not only on its intrinsic qualities, but more importantly in the light of which paths were already trodden by past outputs. Because if Stott always wanted to come up with a different sound for each release, he has however never fallen into the trap of drastically changing what was already working, slowly building a comprehensive body of work in which each element takes a step in a different direction while still cultivating the same themes of decaying electronic music. Since 2011's Passed Me By, he's been steadily remodeling his vision of club music: at first an interpretation of "physical and spiritual exhaustion", he then proceeded to visit the genre's most desolate corners throughout his various LPs. Now, two years after outsider house double EP/faux-LP It Should Be Us, Never the Right Time takes clubbing into the promiscuity of one's bedroom, lava lamps superseding flashy stroboscopes, people being replaced by teddy bears.

Techno has thus been completely abandoned by the English texturer, UK bass and ambient fighting to take the lead, with club-adjacent inclinations in the form of deconstructed club and post-industrial make discrete apparitions. It's cold. Fucking cold even, but there is enough nuance and syncopation here that guarantee that the piece is not only a succession of doomer synth waves and lo-fi percussions. Whether the tracks breathe calm like glimmering opener "Away not gone" - where spatialized chords reverberate what seems like an empty club's void - or groove like "Repetitive strain" - which sees flute motifs bouncing as counterpoints to the deconstructed basses - Stott has enveloped his palette with dark(er) undertones in an almost romantic, poppy way. These pop linings, bringing more atmosphere than catchiness, mostly emanate through longtime partner-in-crime and former piano teacher Alison Skidmore's vocals. Constantly drenched in reverberations, her voice inclines towards a chimeric tenderness. With so many effects applied to her voice, Skidmore acts not as a purveyor of meaning, but as a conveyor of atmosphere. The lyrical content matters here as much as on Cocteau Twins' Treasure; it's rather in the way her vocal inquietude curl up inside the palpitating basses and disintegrated drums that the record gains its hypnotic nature. Fittingly, Never the Right Time closes with the shoegazest Stott has ever been, eerie synths and a twangy guitar wrapping up the album's longing essence in less than five minutes.

Yet, in a discography as dense as the "monochromatically splendid cover art" one, Never the Right Time isn't really going to challenge the top spot, simply because the man has crafted more enthralling pieces in the past. It might simply be considered as another Andy Stott record, which is still a lot better than a whole lot from everyone else. It's just not as big of a statement as spatialization experiment piece Luxury Problems, or as nocturnal technobanger Faith in Strangers. The record's fault mainly comes in the form of an overall lack of fluidity. Tracks come in, reveal their gorgeous arrangements, yet many seem unresolved. "Dove stone" elicits impending doom, but turns out to be as inoffensive as 2021 Liverpool's attack; likewise, "Answers" follows a crescendo-esque structure before collapsing without reaching any sort of conclusion, rather ending with percussive crumbs. Still, it has been evident since his career's dawn that Stott is not a banger-playlist producer, always defiantly arguing that the journey is more important than the destination. And while the journey is not his most carefully crafted, it's still a testament to the high level of proficiency the UK producer has always imposed on himself.



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user ratings (43)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

tl;dr: it's good but it's less good than his best stuff

no bandcamp stream, here's da spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3DuVru3YXCKfrNajnEUlVR?si=yR2NQV9zRKCXwkElyIr23g

comments/remarks/insults welcome

Digging: Full of Hell - Garden of Burning Apparitions

nightbringer
April 17th 2021


2229 Comments


Need to check this but not being on Bandcamp or YouTube music hinders my phone access. Just been getting into Luxury Problems though. Originally checked it out last year but didn't really understand it. With a bit more electronic music under my belt I'm seeing more what the big deal is.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Luxury Problems is superbae yeah

parksungjoon
April 17th 2021


36324 Comments


>insults welcome

putain de merde

Digging: Controlled Bleeding - Distress Signals

parksungjoon
April 17th 2021


36324 Comments


>It's just too damn consistent, too good to be ignored

sludgy, proggy, intense and one hell of a ride?

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

best insult, merci parks

I'm not surprised that Andy Stott is becoming more popular; his discography is too damn awesome to not be recognized.



normaloctagon
April 17th 2021


6374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

new stott nice. good review dedex. i'll check this at some point

Digging: MF DOOM - Special Herbs 7,8

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

new stott always nice!

Cygnatti
April 17th 2021


35351 Comments


andy's album titles continue to deliver

Ryus
April 17th 2021


25469 Comments


and artwork 😍

Digging: Samurai Breaks - TURBO RAVE ARTILLERY

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah artwork is awesome as always

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2021


8933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

double post here are some Saturday vibes: 🍻

Gyromania
April 17th 2021


32970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

too many voices is my favourite stott album. hoping this is somewhat similar

bigguytoo9
April 17th 2021


1132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I quite enjoy this album so far, dont think that will stop anytime soon, if ever.

EphemeralEternity
April 18th 2021


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This grew on me immensely - I’m not even sure why I’ve felt compelled to revisit it over the past few days because I initially found it really anaemic(and not in the good way considering that’s his aesthetic) ... but it’s actually pretty great.



I agree with the summary too, it could be the benchmark when testing a sound system

Toolbag
April 18th 2021


5516 Comments


cool review, im gonna listen to this later today.

i would say make your intro paragraph a little more brief

Digging: Donald Fagen - The Nightfly

Toolbag
April 18th 2021


5516 Comments




parksungjoon
April 18th 2021


36324 Comments


tanner can u give me tips too

Toolbag
April 18th 2021


5516 Comments


maybe if youre lucky

parksungjoon
April 18th 2021


36324 Comments


fuck




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