I always struggle when reviewing dance / electronic music, hence why it’s a genre I rarely touch on, but I’ve been a fan of Feed Me for a few years now and wanted to give it a crack so please forgive any clumsiness, ignorance and general lack of knowledge on my part.
It’s been a hell of a long time coming but electronic artist Feed Me (previously known as Spor and also know as John Gooch) has unveiled his first full length and effectively brushed aside the genres heavyweights. In an age where the popularity of electronic music is at an all time high it takes very good music to make it through to people, with artists like Zedd and Skrillex currently dominating the scene. In my opinion, Feed Me is better than both of the aforementioned artists, with his past EP’s ‘Feed Me’s Big Adventure’, ‘To The Stars’ and ‘Escape From Electric Mountain’ allowing him to make a name for himself but never really reach the same heights.
I remember hearing ‘Blood Red’ for the first time years ago, and the drop in it pretty much blew me away and introduced me to dubstep in the process. There’s plenty of drops of that magnitude on ‘Calamari Tuesday’ but there’s also a satisfying amount of variety, as you’d expect from a producer who’s always open to experimentation, under a number of monikers. It isn’t constant drop after drop like a lot of electronic releases but it paces itself, throwing in upbeat pop numbers (‘Love Is All I’ve Got’) whilst not ignoring the dubstep roots (‘Chinchilla’). Throw in elements of Drum ‘N Bass (‘Ebb & Flow), reggae (‘Ophelia’) and even a bit of indie appeal you get a dazzling album that never fails to surprise. Take ‘Rap Trap’, one of the darker tracks featuring tip toeing melody over a brooding background before unravelling into an expansive and intense plateau. Gooch has never lacked imagination and tracks as creative as these are the best moments on his debut full length, and thankfully there’s plenty of them. Songs like ‘Dazed’ are layer upon layer and at times the album is truly jaw dropping in terms of its scope and it’s hard not to be drawn in by all the little tweaks and additions that you pick up with each listen. It’s what sets Feed Me apart musically; more time and effort seems to go into his music and it shows through his exceptional and varied production.
There’s more than enough on ‘Calamari Tuesday’ to satisfy both the club goers and those who want a bit more depth to their music. There’s a solid mix of the two, with a relatively equal balance of melancholy and euphoric. Once opener ‘Orion’ unfolds it could easily make any club playlist in the world, whilst third track ‘Death Robot’ is more textured and expansive. It means that despite being fairly varied ‘Calamari Tuesday’ remains, above all else, a good time. It’s also deliciously lengthy at 73 minutes, and what makes it even more impressive is that it holds your attention for every second, regardless of your musical preferences. If you’re looking for the more dubstep orientated delivery ‘Chinchilla’ is the go-to track, being the most reminiscent of Feed Me’s earlier EP’s, but the album is never afraid to cover new ground and sees Gooch further expand his musical horizons. ‘In The Bin’ has a more rap based feel to it, being grittier than a lot of the albums other material. It all just adds to the evidence that there’s something for everyone on ‘Calamari Tuesday’ and at times it’s as bizarre as its title suggests. ‘Fiasco’ is another exhilarating Dubstep based number containing soaring synths and bass heavy drops, even throwing in a piano based bridge – because why the fuck not? Even after numerous listens ‘Calamari Tuesday’ is just as likely to blow your mind as it is mellow you out, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Drawn out closer ‘Last Requests’ is a masterpiece and perfectly caps off a similarly brilliant album which is right up there with the best releases of 2013.
Everything Feed Me has ever released has pretty much excelled, and the 15 tracks on here sees the trend continue, being of the highest quality. If you’re already a fan like me you’ll enjoy ‘Calamari Tuesday’ and if this is your first Feed Me experience, prepare to be hooked because the album is a thoroughly gripping and exhilarating listen. Normally with electronic music I fail to grasp a foothold from which to gain perspective on a release and Feed Me has always been an enigma in that sense, because his music is something that is always designed to take the listener on a journey, as opposed to just making them move their feet. Pick up this album, play it at full volume,sit back, enjoy and take from it what you will because chances are you’ll love it. Ultimately, ‘Calamari Tuesday’ is everything I wanted it to be and more.
Rating – 9/10
Listen to – ‘Chinchilla’ / ‘Fiasco’ / ‘Love Is All I Got’