In what feels like a relatively short time, Frederic Robinson has found himself at the fore. We take a very personal look at his debut LP "Mixed Signals".
Do you remember when an LP had a unified, consistent sound throughout? An idea explored to it’s most logical and illogical extremities? Maybe the infinite sound palette of software studios have made artists a little less refined in recent times? Too many options, not enough creativity? I’m happy to say that Frederic Robinson’s “Mixed Signals” bucks this modern side effect of digital technology.
The album has a sheen and finesse rarely exuded these days in electronic music, in fact, it doesn’t really feel like electronic music at all. It has the feel of a big budget sound track, yet without the generalist or populist approach such a project would demand. Aloof with thick string sections, melodic chiming, frantically exclaimated percussion and weighty pianos, “Mixed Signals” plays like a very personal concert.
Robinson’s own explorations into live performance has no doubt contributed to where his music now finds itself. The synchronicity of electronica combined with the urgency of spontaneous musically makes for a heady mix.
“Mixed Signals” is not in any way a body of work defined by the genre it happens to find itself most conveniently labelled as. With the album receiving rave reviews across the board, it is hard to find something to say about “Mixed Signals” that hasn’t already been expressed in some way elsewhere.
I have a feeling that so much of what people feel about the music will remain with the individuals personally affected by the collusion of music and the stories within their own lives. My first listen was on the London underground, zooming through the city early evening. I managed to complete the experience in one journey. The carriage lined either side by strangers, occasionally making eye contact, a mutual glance, each on their own journey. The details of each thought known only by the individual. Going home to a loved one? Going to work? Maybe, going nowhere fast? Music this “close” leads you to wonder and confront the humanity you sometimes miss in strangers passing.
I’ve deliberately not mentioned individual tracks. There is no need. “Mixed Signals” to my mind, should be enjoyed in it’s entirety. Every track has a part to play in the show. “Mixed Signals” demands appreciation and will no doubt find it’s home in each listener in a slightly different way.