Album Reviews

Album Review: Ford & Lopatin – Channel Pressure (Mexican Summer/Software Recordings)

By | Published on Friday 3 June 2011

Ford & Lopatin

Joel Ford (formerly of Tigercity) and Daniel Lopatin (AKA Oneohtrix Point Never) cast aside their Games moniker – as showcased on last year’s wonderful ‘That We Can Play’ EP – for a Heaven 17-esque pseudo-corporate name to go along with their Heaven 17-esque pseudo-retro stuttering synth-pop.

‘Channel Pressure’, a record that allegedly has some high falutin concept running through it, doesn’t scale the highs that the duo reached on the aforementioned EP; the judder and lurch of the likes of ‘Dead Jammer’ or ‘Surrender’ annoy rather than delight. That Lopatin is capable of tweaking analogue signals into haunting, spooked-out and lonely cosmic sounds in his regular guise might come as a surprise to a listener only aware of this project; the words ‘pastiche’, ‘arch’ and ‘posturing’ spring to mind throughout the album’s duration.

This listener – a huge fan of the pair’s ‘Way Slower’ series of mixes, and the kind of synthetic, rubbery funk that Ford & Lopatin admire so much – felt let down, felt that merely appropriating the staccato Fairlight fixation of 80s pop doesn’t necessarily result in something worth consuming in 2011, began to wonder when the retromania bubble will burst, hoped that someone would turn these songs into the huge italo/cosmic/proto-house bangers they could and should have been. Most things in life are better when devoid of irony; ‘Channel Pressure’ is one of them. JAB

Physical release: 6 Jun