Magnetophone I Guess Sometimes I Need To Be Reminded Of How Much You Love Me

Their music may be instrumental, but Magnetophone certainly has a way with words when it comes to titles. As for the music, this debut full-length from the British duo of Matt Saunders and John Hanson would be a first class honours graduate from the electronic music school of Richard D. James. Their blending of muddy, processed beats with soft harmonic tones might not be totally new, but the end result on I Guess Sometimes… is sheer brilliance. Fortunately, Magnetophone don’t let their machinery take control of the process, as demonstrated by their rather minimal array of analogue equipment. As John Hanson explains: “We try to distance ourselves from technology that’s going to make us distant from music. The most hi-tech thing we’ve got is a sampler. It’s all a real-time, live set-up to keep a kind of human feel to everything. It’s surprising how little equipment we have; it pushes us, pushes our imagination more. We want the album to sound like us.” Hanson openly admits his respect for the work of his electronic peers, but the roots of Magnetophone may be somewhat surprising. “We both met because we had an absolute love for Led Zeppelin and retro bands like Cream and Hendrix. The turning point for me was Spacemen 3; it was a perfect mix of acoustics and electronics. That obviously went on to Aphex Twin and Autechre and stuff like that. We’ve got a huge spectrum of tastes and we definitely love all the Warp stuff. I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to say that we’re doing anything extraordinarily original, I’m sure we’re not, but we’re just doing what we love.” The album weaves in and out of different textures and they make excellent use of minor chord melodies, especially on tracks like “Temporary Lid/Georgia” and “Grateful Aren’t We,” which are downright sad and emotional. As Hanson puts it, “The electronic music that’s going on now can be quite cold and major, but if we can get the chords to be minor, to get some kind of melancholic quality in the background, it’s great edged against the crunchy beats. We wanted something that was beautiful but sad at the same time.” (Beggars Banquet)