Review: Component #4 – Barbed Wire Sunday

With a non-committal name such as Component #4, it’s perhaps no surprise that the talent behind the “handle” is a one man electronica performer known as Mike Rowley. Rowley has found a home on Wayside and Woodland, the label formed by Epic45 and – much like that act and their other labelmates – they share a penchant for psychogeography. In Rowley’s case, the source of inspiration came from a couple of visits to Berlin where he took in the sights of the old crumbled ruins as well as the new developments.

Component #4 EP Cover

The title track is a smooth journey through a city at night, characterised by smooth keyboard washes and downtempo beats. ‘Come Over’ loops the title words as a robotic appeal but it’s the hazy fade-in/fade-out and staccato style that provides a level of warmth, whilst ‘Goodbye To Berlin’ is a touching tribute to the German capital and perhaps unsurprisingly is the nearest we get to Kraftwerk. Of the remixes, Field Harmonics makes the title track sound like Washed Out whereas EL Heath adds some strident Krautrock grooves to ‘I Know Nothing’.

‘Barbed Wire Sunday’ is certainly evocative but in a more generic way than the peculiarities of Berlin architecture. Instead, one can picture a European city where lonely people take in some dubstep on a Friday night to remove themselves from the stresses of modern life. That said, the music within the six original tracks is compelling enough and the remixes from Rowley’s fellow Wayside and Woodland artists often expand the horizons of his more subdued offerings.

Web Sites:
Wayside And Woodland Recordings
Norman Records Shop Page for W & W Artists

Further Listening:
Washed Out, Fieldhead, EL Heath

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