Label: Flemish Eye Release date: 11/08/09 It was quite a surprise when I picked this one up, having previously heard Chad VanGaalen in more acoustic surroundings. That's not to say that there isn't any guitar strumming going on, in the title track for instance. But the presence of extensive experimental electronic noodling was a mildly startling but pleasant treat for my ears. A bit like when Radiohead went all electronic and polarised their audience, except it's just me and I like it. There's quite a mixture too from the gently swelling and slightly melancholic textures of "Left Behind by the Digital Ships" to the beats, bass and plucked ethereal strings of "Uke Puke". It's all wonderfully varied too; it really feels like he's having fun playing around with sounds and textures. I can pick out elements akin to many disparate electronic artists I've liked over the years from down tempo ambient groups to the presence of some dirty bit crushedchip tunes on "Rotten Walls". "Memes" starts off with a smattering of all over the shop bleeps which get supplanted by pad sounds and more coherent synth runs, all backed by some four four dance floor beats. The crackly glitch of "Swimming to Food" sounds like insects crawling over analogue circuitry or perhaps an electrocuted dolphin. There's an almost breakcore moment in the form of "Smoking Rat Shit", but it never really gets into full flow. I really enjoyed the slow undulations of "Wet Ferns" which is allowed to settle into itself with its slightly longer running time, I imagined fog over a chill marshy landscape, dim sunlight oozing its way through the atmosphere. One issue with the experimental nature of the album is the shortness of a lot of the tracks, they come, and they go, without having a chance to make their presence more fully felt. However one might argue the case that they don't really need to be any longer as they're just sketches. It might have been good to have a little more guitar on the album as a whole, it appears sporadically and where it does it really enhances the atmosphere, such as on "Gummed Desk". The heavily acoustic "Metal Spider Webs" with its strings, glockenspiel and subtle interweaving of electronics behind is a great opening track, I would like to have heard a little more of this ilk along the way. But overall I think it's definitely an enjoyable piece of work if you don't mind the busyness of its experimentation. Rating: 7/10