Ambient eclecticism with cinematic swagger and style – PICKER MAN weaves a complex web of sound design and provocative scene setting with this brand new EP.
Down On The Scene is all of this, starting things off with a kind of Pulp Fiction-inspired confidence and grit, blending in a little retro-fuzz and a smokey jazz-bar bass-line. Ethereal and somewhat sci-fi-like layers meet with fragments of monologue and samples that further envelop you in this captivating story and, indeed, cinematic audio experience.
While there are plenty of quirks here to appreciate, there’s also the fact that the music makes for a Portishead-style hit of easy, calming escapism. Let it play, let it be the backdrop to your day, and the whole EP works wonders. Then if you choose to look a little more closely, these Fatboy Slim-esque intricacies turn the whole-thing into a brilliantly unique series of events and instances of quiet chaos. Running From The Ambulance becomes a short film in itself – a world into which we can delve, whenever ours becomes a little too routined.
Time To Ride leads on from the opener with equal character and a mellow, satisfying groove. Then we get the faster rhythm section of a high-octane, rightfully Western-influenced How the West was Lost. There’s a reverb-soaked sense of distance to the presentation, it feels like a wild horse chase out in the country, these fragments of voice echoing through with powerful intrigue. Then things start to spiral into less familiar territories – PICKER MAN re-asserting his creative authority and keeping things consistently fresh, unpredictable, interesting.
This entire EP will make for an easy late-night go-to – one to share with friends, or to help you keep some level of sanity as you hustle the day away.
The Gunman keeps with the creative program, utilising similar production traits but delving further into an almost drum-and-bass-inspired realm. Tribal flickers of raw instrumentation help really set the sound apart from the vast majority of instrumental releases. PICKER MAN has found a way to bring together the past and the present with style and character, and it works.
Bad Boys surprisingly calms things down for a while, a welcomed moment of space and reflection, with a few deeper tones and weightier moments of rhythm. Then we get the contrasting lightness and faster, fuller arrangement of The Wild Wild West. Artistry takes hold, stops and starts unite with hints of detail that again intrigue and set the scene in a fascinating, refreshing way.
Whatever this story has been to the listener, whatever the underlying ideas or influences, the project makes certain to leave its mark – and does so in a cleverly non-intrusive, ‘cool’ kind of way. That bass work returns with a clear-cut lyrical backbone for the final, far-from-vague track that is Framed. A great way to finish, stylish and confident, nostalgic, reminiscent of classic cinema and the alternative albums that saw us through the simpler decades.
Another album is already in the works, and by the quality and creativity on display here – PICKER MAN is easily set to become one of the decades most appealing and original producers.