Konx-Om-Pax – Ways of Seeing
- David Pollock
- 13 June 2019
Third full-length album from the Glasgow electronic musician is lush and sonically adventurous
It's hard not to feel that Tom 'Konx-Om-Pax' Scholefield has been an underrated presence amid the canon of great electronic musicians to have emerged from Glasgow in recent years, despite a career which has placed him at the forefront of a lot of the best work happening within and outwith the country. As an animation and sleeve designer, his work is synonymous with the aesthetic of artists including Hudson Mohawke, Rustie and Oneohtrix Point Never; yet his own musical output isn't quite as eagerly raved about as it deserves to be.
That's not to say – as an artist who's releasing his third full-length album – that Scholefield has been unfairly ignored. Yet his lush, imaginative and sonically adventurous soundscapes bear positive comparison with the likes of Machinedrum and Oneohtrix Point Never himself, and Ways of Seeing capably expands upon the promise of the title, playfully fusing experiments in mood with a well-developed sense of what makes a rhythm addictive.
Scholefield's instinct is for dark, icy slabs of synthetic sound, evidenced on opener 'LA Melody', a sinister Michael Mann soundtrack of the mind made while working with Hudson Mohawke amid the concrete canyons of the titular city. An austere hip hop groove is discernible within the song, while further collaborative efforts yield something of the aesthetic of the guest artists involved; a warm ambient glow surrounds 'Saule Acid', made in conjunction with Sylvia Kastel, for example, while Nightwave features on the rave-flavoured 'I'm For Real'.
On 'Rez', the title reference to Scotland's most famous warehouse rave belies the gentle groove of the song, while the mood lightens with the bright, contemporary pop style of the appropriately named 'Optimism Over Despair' and 'Magenta One'. There's a fresh, cinematic sense of timelessness to much of the music here, an odd feeling of warmth despite the fact that Scholefield's experiments appear to revel in the lack of overt human sound or presence.
Out Fri 14 Jun on Planet Mu.