In some ungodly cock-up, the UK seems to be the last country on Earth to have the new Cornelius album released on its shores. While we're forced to wait one more poxy month for that, is there anything vaguely similar to fill the time?
Well, colourformoney by Drone seems to have been doing the trick for us. Released on Monday, colourformoney by Drone is just about as much folksy lo-fi skittering laptop braindance as you can fit on a CD. Containing tracks that shawshank into your brain and just drift around for hours, pushing everything else to one side, we're sure that we'd be listening to colourformoney by Drone a lot more if only some of it didn't plain unsettle us so much.
The world of chopped-up laptop blip-pop has made an exciting dive for the mainstream lately, featuring heavily in everything from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack to commercials for Sky. With so much of it being so readily available – plus Boards Of Canada making the unsurpassably beautiful Dayvan Cowboy video – where has the scene got left to go apart from deep underground again?
Judging by colourformoney, Drone couldn't agree with us more. Coming from somewhere in Wales and armed with recording equipment that couldn't be more archaic if was carved out of stone, Drone has made an electronic album so lo-fi and warmly human that it deserves to be heard by all. colourformoney is a remarkable album because it holds together as a solid piece despite varying wildly in mood. From breathtakingly lovely, almost pastoral tracks such as Waterlillies and Telephone to the chest-thumping 3am paranoia of Spiderhead and the opening movement of Etherheart – which blossoms into a heartwrenching farewell sex lullaby, the rudimentary means in which Drone has recorded colourformoney means that the album hangs together as one.
At over an hour long colourformoney would have gained a lot from trimming a track or two, and at times the album strays a little close to Boards Of Canada copyist territory for our liking, but the slightly oppressive running time doesn't detract from the pleasure we get from hearing it – and if you're going to rip-off anyone, it may as well be the best.
But it's when Drone opens his mouth that colourformoney really comes into its own, his voice heaping a healthy dose of miserablism over everything it touches. While colourformoney's instrumentals are decent enough in their own right, the vocal tracks are something else entirely. In Cutting Teeth Drone is gorgeously mournful, In Plink Plink Plink light and dreamy, in Spiderhead he sounds like a playground full of feral children. At times the funny, disarming, slight, menacing colourformoney by Drone sounds like the direction The Beta Band should have taken after The 3 EPs, and there's little higher praise than that.