In 2010, Roman Bezdyk unleashed his ‘Curious Memories’ album to an unsuspecting world. With its inspired sourcing of samples and surreal genre clashes, Sone Institute provided the closest we’ll probably ever get to a second Avalanches album. As if we weren’t spoilt enough, ‘A Model Life’ arrives just two years later and with a barrel-load of more ideas.
‘Witchcraft And Pornography’, a shuddering mix of rock guitar solo and trip hop effects, is a bizarre way to open the record but neither this piece nor the breakbeat vs spoken word ‘The World Is A Confusion’ is not really representative of what is to come. For if there is a period in time which Sone Institute tends to prefer it’s the 1960’s, whether it’s his favoured chill out/ easy listening approach (‘Back At Yesterday’, ‘Scuppered Flow’ and ‘Tradition And Dream’ are all sublime), would-be Western soundtracks (‘M’Ling’), BBC Radiophonic Workshop-style experiments (‘Brittlestar’) or “dreamfolk” (the title track). ‘Struck By A Rock’ continues the easy listening theme but adds country guitar and guest boy/girl vocals which provides a human counterpoint just when it’s easy to get lost in Bezdyk’s weird creations.
After several tracks which rely on surprise and shocks, once it gets going ‘A Model Life’ begins to make sense and the result is a surprisingly coherent record. Bezdyk takes us on a fascinating trip through a 60’s inspired fantasy world and it’s to his credit that most of the tracks here sound like lost treasures from a forgotten age.
King Of Woolworths, The Avalanches, BBC Radiophonic Workshop