Review: Whitman Proud – Run

Andrew Mercer-Taylor is Whitman Proud; a one man electronica act with footholds in IDM, experimental rock and psychedelia. ‘Run’ is his debut record which contains ten songs/pieces which challenge, confuse and delight in equal measure.

Openers rarely come in such awkward yet oddly brilliant shape as ‘Dedalus’. The retro-synth sound will be familiar to 1980’s electro-pop admirers but not so the processed vocals, stop-start beats and gothic shimmer. ‘Globetrotter’ is perhaps even more alienating due to it being a rather tuneless experiment but Mercer-Taylor shows his production and songwriting mettle with ‘Broke’; his jaded vocals contrasting nicely with the chilly clock chime melody and funk guitar whilst ‘My Equations’ marries early Depeche Mode with cool European vocals. On the flipside of the coin, the likes of ‘Winter’ may provide little more than a BBC Radiophonic Workshop/vintage Doctor Who influence and the inclusion of rock guitars for ‘Abstraction’ suggests his adventurous spirit needs to be managed in more constructive ways.

The chief component of ‘Run’ is its cold, dark heart and there are a few moments here when it’s not clear if Mercer-Taylor intends to infuriate the listener. However, for half of the time, when he concentrates on writing actual songs, he reveals a willingness to reach out to the ears of lovers of oddball electronica.

Web Sites:
Whitman Proud Bandcamp

Further Listening:
Colder, Millimetre

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