Label: Brainlove Records Release date: 29/03/10 Link: Official Site Hailing from the pastoral idyll of East Anglia, the jolting electronica that comes blasting out of your speakers on first listen to the new EP 'Evening Drive' from Norwichian Mat Riviere is somewhat of a shock. A pleasant shock, mind you. Not dissimilar to the sensation of touching an electric fence. Exciting, exhilarating, occasionally painful and weirdly pleasant in small doses. That’s the sort of shock I’m talking about. Listing his fellow band members as a Casio SKI and a Yamaha SU200 Sampler, you get the gist. Mat is very much a one-man show producing music that is replete, in his own words, with ‘repetition, loops that don’t stay in time and self-harmonizing’. And it is a very interesting proposition indeed. With a pounding industrial beat and plenty of static feedback to keep the aurally sadistic happy, lead track 'Evening Drive' sees Mat’s charmingly basic and occasionally Interpol-esque vocals loom ominously over menacing multi layered samples which serve as a nightmarish yet mesmerizing three and a half minutes. Just like the electric fence, see? Next up is 'Stars Hollow' and it is the complete antithesis of Evening Drive. Sigur Ros style glockenspiel tings open up into a fuzzy electronic jaunt through such suitably eccentic lyrics as ‘I’ll settle for any cinema/You’ll take me in’ and ‘It’s always Christmas here / I’m always letting myself down’. No, I’m not sure either. Still, it’s really very lovely indeed. Best track on the EP is 'The Give In' (Bleeding Heart Narrative Remix). Once more we get a dose of Riviere’s atonal vocal but this time he treats us to some epic strings, echoing loops and beautiful harmonic reverb which capture a sense of infinite possibility. This is just a bloke in his bedroom with a computer. A very talented bloke with a very snazzy computer, granted, but just one bloke all the same. Hats off to you, Mr Riviere. Whether my ears could take a whole album all in one go, however, still remains to be seen (there were times when I wished that it was a purely instrumental affair, a la Boards Of Canada – singing isn’t his strongest discipline…ahem…) but this taster of Riviere’s eccentric melancholy and maverick style is fascinating, original and exciting - enough to send me straight to iTunes to buy (yes BUY!) all of his previous releases and as an artist you can’t ask for better than that. Photobucket