The Instructional Media Guide to Mindful Internet Exploration (4 stars)

The Instructional Media Guide to Mindful Internet Exploration

Lewis Cook and co explore the outer reaches of Glaswegian weird-pop

Instructional Media is the tape label brainchild of Lewis Cook, a musician, digi-psych hunter/gatherer and next-gen web ethnomusicologist. Laudable titles (mine not his), but after hearing this curio of local, weirdo-pop brews he put together, such lofty praise sits well. Fans of synthjam visionary labels Olde English Spelling Bee, Editions Mego and No Fun should jump on it like free beer. There’s a joyous freedom, as if the Technicolor tunes were concocted in petri dishes, retaining a singularity of vision, without veering into self-indulgent sonic solipsism. Yes, the outer limits are odd but its embrace is warm. Take the afrobeat grooves of Falconry and his electric Kool-Aid drenched ‘2 Limes’. Similarly Frams Torners' elegant soundtrack to your next astral projection, ‘Butties’ has a shimmering, euphoric and transcendental vibe. Mother Ganga’s 'Private Browsing' is straight up cold wave; a stoic jolt of icy pop in amongst the warm meanderings. (Mother Ganga = Lewis Cook, incidentally.) You expect the eccentricity and risk taking, but it’s rare that this combines with such an engaging, inviting listen. This tape is not designed to provoke with its vanguardism, but to seduce, encourage and, yes, to guide.