Chances are that you’ll probably have never heard of Manchester’s Working For A Nuclear Free City. So the name Gary McClure will mean even less to you if you haven’t. The gentleman in question is half responsible for the former name, and entirely responsible for the latter. What was successful in WFANFC was its air of nostalgia, invoked in its many distinct song styles, leaving behind an eclectic catalogue of killer songwriting, atmosphere and endearing little oddities that sounded like they could’ve been from many different time periods of history. American Wrestlers has a spirit which is very similar. Recorded on an eight-track and on his wife’s guitar and keyboard, Gary McClure has distilled the essence of WFANFC into a stripped back indie-pop masterpiece, that sounds like its been around since the 60’s, rather than April of this year. The soulful, heartfelt There’s No One Crying Over Me Either, with its catchy keyboard hook, dated but fitting drum machine beat and soaring guitar solo is a sure fire contender to be one of my favourite songs released this year and the hype surrounding the self-titled album is rightful to propel its status as one of the best releases likely to be out this year. One of the best examples of timelessness currently going.
Some artists leave you hanging on what could’ve been, if they’d just persevered a little longer. Seeming absent since 2013 and on the brink of seeping into mainstream acceptance, Access To Arasaka was an atmospheric electronic project of New York producer Robert Lioy, that combined dark, brooding soundscapes with glitch and IDM elements that could score a dystopian future with absolute ease. While his later works are murkier of sorts, Jody from his debut album Oppidan has somewhat of an element of purity, hard to explain within the context of electronic music. Whilst swirling through a smog of beautiful harmonics, programming spasms and contorts before picking up into an acid thrash-style breakbeat pace and settling at a wave of synthetic chatter between machines. Whilst not as ‘organic sounding’ as some electronic music produced out there, Access To Arasaka nails an emotional depth that it’s difficult to pinpoint, and earned him much respect from the electronic community in the process. Hopefully he’ll resurface one day, but his music has surely reinforced his prowess as an incredible producer.
The track featured, Jody, can be downloaded for free right here. 2012’s Geosnychron, 2011’s Orbitus, 2010’s void(); and 2009’s Oppidan can all be purchased via Tympanik Audio’s Bandcamp page, or physically and digitally via most respectable music retailers.