MiasmaRobert T


Robert T is good with maths. Working as an air traffic controller, the profession he held for 20 years, you kind of have to be. His latest project ‘Miasma’, a three track cassette for Burn Ward Records makes this clear - sequenced rhythms dancing around one another with increasing complexity.

There has always seemed to be an inclination towards extended tracks with Robert T, as with this release, he often records his tracks in single takes. ‘Miasma’ however feels like the first recorded work of his I feel has truly explored the limits of this idea. The first track occupies a languid 30 minutes, followed by two further experiments which both last (give or take a little) ten minutes. This in itself throws up some interesting ideas. As always the sound feels carefully regimented with each element strictly fixed in place - however the extended lengths push Robert T to explore something more malleable. The result is that the tracks here have a psychedelic, improvisational quality to them, vaguely calling to mind the likes of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze’s extended synth experiments.

The release is built around a-side offering ‘Miasma’ - twitching percussion and pointed arpeggios tiptoeing between one another. All this cemented by Robert T’s fixture-rattling booms of low-end - yet many of the beats are left implied, giving ‘Miasma’ a lethargic swing. Your mind is left to fill in the blanks.

Following this the moon-walking ‘Mikrospace’ floats weightlessly, as plaintive soundscapes swell in the background, dripping sound-design and ’70s electronica synth glides listlessly. ‘Shiva’ closes with drowsy, plodding techno. The track sounds like it could be cut from the Sandwell District catalogue, although listened to through several layers of concrete - indistinct and dreamlike.

With ‘Miasma’ Robert T seems to have hit on a blueprint extremely complementary to his style, of which I look forward to hearing explored further.

  • Published
  • Sep 13, 2015