Never one to do things conventionally, Joe Howe is operating under his own name for this eclectic set of instrumental tracks, on a sub-30 minute retro cassette (ok, with a download for the kids).
The Glasgow-based synth king usually operates under any one of a raft of pseudonyms including Ben Butler & Mousepad, Germlin, and Sunbutler (a collaboration with cult eccentric Momus).
Here he’s solo aside from an appearance from Tokyo-based producer and artist Ryota Miyake, whose swirling keys on ‘Plug’ contrast Howe’s pulsating electronic beats.
Across the eight tracks he draws from various dance-oriented genres – ‘Vertical Slice’ sporting an almost Chicago house piano; ‘Suzuki Banks’ a toe-tapping slice of funk.
The title track’s squelches and breakbeats almost recall ’80s TV themes, and despite being far from the mainstream could easily turn up on an advert, while closer ‘Last Minute’ has the oriental feel of Yellow Magic Orchestra via San Franciscan oddballs / eyeballs) The Residents.
Overall, a collection anyone would be proud to put their name to.
This article originally appeared in the Sunderland Echo.