In a long and distinguished history in music, Andrew Johnson is chiefly known for his time as a former member of both Hood and The Remote Viewer. The first album under his new solo identity, A New Line (Related), confirms him as an expert manipulator of deep house, dub and techno.
This is just the ninth release on the small Home Assembly Music label but they seem to have the Midas touch when choosing artists. The early signs are certainly understated but as the track ‘A New Line (Related) Vote Malcolm Eden’ develops, the rhythm and intensity begins to increase and by the time the track ends, it feels like the aural equivalent of being surrounded by a horde of hungry insects. ‘A Withering Attack’ follows a not dissimilar course but the atmosphere is eerier still thanks to a combination of pulsing beats and a chilling melody.
Even the less strident material, such as the moody ‘The Slow Sounds Of Your Life’ contain mesmeric and involving delights. ‘People Kissed Underneath Me’ resembles the idea of waking up at dawn to the sound of farm machinery whilst ‘Three Octave Voice’ touches on the early global techno sounds of 808 State. The most hypnotic moment, however, can be found on ‘Repetition (for Pryzbylewski)’, which is dominated by clanging, bell-like patterns. After seven minutes it should become irritating but the constantly shifting backgrounds ensure the track is disorientating in all the best ways. Finally, the shuddering yet blissful ‘Great Palaces’ is a great way for Johnson to sign off.
The album clocks in at just over an hour which could have been a mistake for a record which certainly celebrates the beauty of repetition. However, the music is chilled, complex and blessed with so much nocturnal longing that it is perfect for a late night headphone listen.
Hood, The Remote Viewer, Si-cut.db