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Bristolian producer Vessel has taken the bold decision to forgo totally electronic music production in favour of a 'more organic' sound with his latest album Punish, Honey. The warped techno tracks of Order of Noise are a far cry from the natural noise on Punish, Honey. To achieve this new sound, Young Echo member Vessel used sheets of metal as percussion, sawing up bikes to make flutes and creating harmonic guitars all by his own hand. The artistic and technical ability involved is admirable as an art project, but Punish, Honey as an album comes up short.

Seb Gainsborough is the man behind Vessel and his debut Order of Noise was released on the fantastic Tri-Angle Records label to widespread critical acclaim. Tri-Angle prides itself on plucking out and promoting challenging and unique electronic music such as Balam Acab and recent signee Boothroyd. The release of Punish, Honey sees it stand as one of the label's most unusual releases to date. The album opens with a tense period of silence on 'Febrile' before clattering into life and blending into the lead single 'Red Sex'. Within two tracks the evolution of Vessel is clear as all the drum sounds are clearly recorded live as opposed to being the creation of a series of 1's and 0's.

Second single 'Anima' is the most conventional track, the most appealing and the most electronically produced. Like 'Drowned in Water and Light' it's more gentle than the album as a whole and employs deep bass drum hits to drive the track along. These tracks are also structurally coherent rather than the using the arrhythmic clattering that features heavily throughout the album. The rising action and multiple layers are a strong similarity to Order of Noise as well as resembling the music of Vessel's Bristolian forefathers Portishead and Massive Attack.

Vessel's mission for this album was to find out "What does 'Englishness' in music really mean?" Once again his artistic intentions are a little confused as the abrasiveness of tracks like 'Kin to Coal' make readings of 'Englishness' difficult to conjure. 'DPM' is a more straightforward track but quite what it says about 'Englishness' is again lost on me.

Due to the nature of the innovative and creative instrumentation used in its production, Punish, Honey would be better served as a piece of experimental performance art. As an album the tracks don't have enough identity to make them unique, or enough of a narrative for them to resemble a coherent album. Vessel's plan to make an album about 'What does Englishness in music really mean?' seems to have been a little too ambitious with his choice of medium. Vessel's talent in making music is undeniable, but like a master painter who decides to throw away his brushes to become a sculptor, Vessel's ambition has exceeded his abilities. By trading in his synth for sheet metal he has lost out on what caused people to stand up and take notice.

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