Album Review: Vector Lovers / ‘iPhonica’ (Soma)



Composed entirely on an iPhone, Vector Lovers’ Martin Wheeler announces that the end of the world is nigh, someone should’ve thought of the idea sooner, or this is music’s creative platform from now on.

The distinction between mobile production unit and fully equipped studio is unnoticeable, to the point where cynics might question whether a phone alone was involved. And in the event of being completely familiar with the Nanostudio app used, others will find it limited and predictable (okay, it’s a long shot, but in this world of keeping ahead of technology, it at least readies a messageboard debate.)

The result is tingly electronic downtime keeping one wary eye open (“Vigil” shows the synthetic world a human spirit), dubtronica watching clouds pass — certainly conjuring images of VL being in his own world when producing from airport lobby or hotel room — and hard-boiled tech constructions (“Replicator”) on a gentle sensory wavelength. Wheeler imparts a revisited irony early on with “Warm Laundrette” – using the most upfront equipment to recreate a 1982 electro-synth profile – to raise the album from its slight, prolonged one dimensionality.

When the world’s massage parlours all become automated, this’ll probably be its soundtrack. It certainly disposes the idea of personal stereo hiss being heard from the back of the bus or train given its full bodied riches, but it’s the concept and blurb that wins out over the music.

File under: DFRNT, Lee J Malcolm, Badly Born Droid