Question: you’re one of the world’s foremost electronic music producers. You’ve worked in pretty much every sub-set of the genre, remixed everyone from Aphex Twin, Black Sabbath and Lana Del Rey and are widely acknowledged as a freebooting pioneer.
Answer: If you’re Kieran Hebden, pretty much whatever you want, which was why New Energy was such an unexpected gem; with no-one left to impress the Balearic vibe and effervescent melodies were clearly the work of a man happy to please himself.
That’s not to say New Energy was a collection of demos just thrown out by a contented late thirty something with a gap in his schedule, as the skittering pads of LA Trance, Scientists’ grainy, deconstructed trumpet and You Are Loved’s early 90’s bleeptronics illustrated. What it really constituted was a reminder that at it’s Kraftwerkian roots this is a form which is best when least complicated and especially so when given such obvious scope to have fun.
New Energy may well not go down in Hebden’s cannon as one of his most celebrated works, but amongst a number of artists who made spellbinding, heritage filled releases in 2017, his back to basics were almost certainly the most enjoyable.
Image Credit: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55784295