‘Speech And Silence’ – Automatic Tasty (2012)

Wicklow-based Jonny Dillon has been dreaming up wistful, childlike melodies for almost a decade now. His distinct style, recalling the sincerity of early Aphex Twin releases and the sub-aqua bubbles of Drexciya, centres on a warm, playful brand of electro. On this 2012 LP release, the moods range from nostalgia to exuberance, light amusement to deep wonder, but the endearing sense of honesty that permeates the album remains constant throughout.

‘Public Service Announcement’ opens amid a fuzz of radio static and a clutter of straying voices before a gorgeous, elastic bassline bounces in. It seems to lurch heavily at times, enhancing the giddy synth interplay and inducing the feeling of butterflies.



‘Talking At Right Angles’ has a more driving rhythm. Squelchy, melodic acid lines melt in and out before some equally pleasing synths join in the mix. There’s this lonely sounding pad that lurks in the background from time to time offering a downcast contrast to the  carefree tone set by the 303.



‘I Seen You Through A Crowd’ is a slab of deep, analogue magic. The whole track is cloaked in an eerie, mysterious fog redolent of a Legoweltian haze. Twinkling, otherworldly synths rain down before a broken acid bass beams forth its hypnotic laser. This is what the fairies rave to out in Wickla supposedly.



‘A World Of Moving And Connected Parts’ is on a decidedly livelier bent. An aquatic synth keeps time as a mischievous sounding cohort seems to be play hide and seek with an impish bassline. ‘Stepping Out’ is a beautiful track. A tight, modulated bassline plods along while the synths range from a twee, marching variety to the fluttery, dizzy sort. ‘Jolly Dillon (Happy Autumn Drinking With Friends)’ starts with a dreamy hum. Later, excitable synths chase each other around playfully, fairly mimicking that woozy feeling produced by a day spent arousing with your mates.



‘Evening Coming Down, On A Hill Above The Town’ is quietly ecstatic. Luscious synths float to and fro over a warm, inviting, low drone. Birds audibly chirp in the background lending the track a quaint, rustic tone. Blissful stuff.



‘Rocky Valley’ is fast-paced and excitable, its high, naive melodies seeming to almost ache with anticipation as a satisfying bass bounces about seeming almost to rebound off itself. ‘Vowel Sounds’ is based on a melodic acid line that’s twanged rhythmically as if it were a funk guitar. Other more atonal 303 licks provide a counterpoint, all underlined with driving percussion. ‘Suantrai Suaimhneach’ rounds off the release gently. A shy, fuzzy synth staggers in lonesomely before being helped along by a soothing array of companions. There’s a lovely, three tone, wide-eyed pad that sets the tone, swaying along to the whirr of the chimes and bleeps.



At the heart of Dillon’s futuristic conceptions, there’s something disarmingly homely and pastoral – often the track names and accompanying album art  allude to this theme. It’s this easy, natural sentiment, seemingly at odds with the cold, electronic modulations on offer, along with the fresh, rich synth harmonies he makes sound so effortless, that establishes his hard-earned niche in the visionary realms of electro.

Rating: 4.5/5


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