Barbarossa: Imager | Album review
London producer James Mathé’s way with melancholy continues to serve him well. It also finds him following an increasingly interesting path away from the folkier leanings of his earlier work.
Formerly a member of José González’s band and part of the Fence Collective (who released his Chemical Campfires debut), Mathé’s work is full of often fascinating pulses, glitches and bleeps.
But while it’s obvious that the producer is having a whale of a time applying these new treatments and textures to his work, the songs themselves are a little one-dimensional and pedestrian.
The title track and Home, with González adding languid vocals to the strung-out melody, are the best of the bunch here, and there’s a lovely lilt to Silent Island. Elsewhere, though, it’s a case of beautifully applied coatings, but little of substance.