It’s cray to think that it was a whole 10 years since Andy Stott released his incredible and timeless classic Passed Me By. Bold, eclectic and timeless, that album was just the start of his legacy as one of the most forward-thinking electronic musicians of the last decade. With albums such as Luxury Problems (2012) and It Should Be Us, he pushed himself artistically to new heights, creating dense electronic compositions that take direct influence from dance and techno, while bringing animated and highly infectious grooves that perfectly capture the frantic, restless energy of life. His music is always in motion, growing and developing in ways that evoke deep feelings of nostalgia, at least for me. He has now released a lavish, textured and dynamic new album titled Never The Right Time, and it is truthfully as incredible as anything he’s released to date.
Featuring his old piano teacher and family friend Alison Skidmore, Never The Right Time is both a rhythmic and evocative body of work that features the same dark, pulsating rhythms that I’ve come to love from the talented musician. The opening track “Away not gone” is gentle journey through a spacious soundscape with piercing synths and vocals from Alison that provide and angelic aura that is perfect for the tone of the track. “Never the right time” is another stellar track that features more dynamic grooves and beats, with snares and synths complementing the glitchy arrangements throughout. I love the driving beat and the grandiose synths that grow and grow as the track progresses. “Repetitive strain” is a dominant, bass-heavy moment that I can imagine sounding amazing in a club. “Don’t know how” is another great moment, with thick, bass-heavy grooves that are complemented by angelic vocals and electronic synths that add to composition effortlessly. The keys on “When it hits” are overpowering and perfectly complement the atmospheric synths throughout. “The Beginning” is a dynamic cut with heavy drums and percussion throughout that add to the rhythmic energy of the track, before bringing the energy down to a more subdued and reflective moment, with incredible vocals from Alison Skidmore again, who is simply incredible throughout. The dark, dominant and overpowering bass on “Answers” just pummels throughout with such ferocity that it’s impossible to want to sit still throughout this record. “Dove stone” focuses more on ambiance, with slower-paced, atmospheric rhythms that perfectly capture the beauty and aura of his music. “Hard to Tell” features these emotive keys and vocals that are brought together by a subtle but poignant bassline that’s just so beautiful. It’s my favourite track on the album, and as the beat progresses, the grandiosity of the track as a whole reaches new heights, with synths, drums and vocals interlocking in the most perfect way. It’s a truly outstanding record, and a flawless way to end an evocative yet reflective and dynamic album.
Andy Stott has already established himself as one of the most forward-thinking and important electronic musicians of the 21st century. Never The Right Time is a bold exploration of sound in its many forms – both the slower, more emotive side of his eclectic sound and the darker, more pulsating side. He’s able to marry both effortlessly on an album that just sounds so consistent from start to finish. With each and every release he comes out with something totally unique and intriguing, and I can only imagine what other ideas he’s got in store for the future. A fantastic body of work that deserves more recognition.