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Restless and direct, dissonant and infectious, Icebeing’s Striped is DIY laptop music of a vividly multi- faceted stripe.
The project is the work of prolific Brighton-based multi-tasker Luke Phillips, whose recording output over 10 years has numbered almost 30 albums, released online under different names. Icebeing is his newly outgoing, song-based front: “My first conscious effort at making pop music,” says Phillips.
His last album made in his family home, Striped touches on themes of “losing time, wasting youth, missed opportunity and retreating to the comforts of childhood”. But it also brims with life, a controlled cacophony of distorted riffs, organ wheeze, tumbling drums, shiny synths, scrunchy samples and more: essentially, indie-pop self-reflection taken to the funfair of ’60s psychedelic exploration with a bedroom-load of modern tech. “I wanted it to sound like a good time,” says Phillips. ‘Channel What I Was Feeling’ couples ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’-ish rhythmic loops with an Elephant 6-grade melody. ‘A Figment’ showcases Phillips’ vaulting vocal leaps, while ‘King of Pyrotechnics’ rises to titular expectations over two brisk, buoyant minutes.
Naked in its sonic imperfections, immersive in its detailed evocations of environment, Striped reflects the home- recorded circumstances of its gestation even as it reaches out to new horizons. Between noise and melody, introversion and extroverted sound, the result is a thrillingly distinct and searching vision, willed into exuberant, honest-to-goodness being.
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