GENERAL CUSTARD - Msred (Falling A)

For his second album as General Kustard Owen Turley tries out music with a harder edge. Still firmly fixed in the electronic instrumental genre, a track like ‘Barry Eats An Egg’ shows a more experimental side of him, with oddly fluctuating time signatures, and swathes of synth over a stuttering rhythm. ‘Octopus Removal Officer’ is almost tribal in its use of the drum machine, with synths swooping in and out of the beats. So far there has been little of the melodicism of the first album, but it makes a re-appearance on ‘I Fought The Hun’, neatly breaking up the rhythmic onslaught of the preceding tracks. ‘Bus Ticket To Vortex’ samples the Scooby Doo theme and Chicory Tip, and nearly turns them into a dance tune, but it comes over as a little too jokey to really fit in with the rest of the tracks on here. ‘Chocolates Fell Into My Mouth’ soon brings us back down to earth, and once again we are back with the out-there experimental stuff. Vocal sampling, electronic effects and weird sounds combine to produce another hard-edged piece of electronica. I am afraid that ‘Sheep Overboard’ is another ‘Bus Ticket…’, sampling ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor’ and a load of sheep, but musically it is not a bad dance tune so not a complete disaster. ‘Valentine’ has the first use of a guitar on the album, but when coupled with the drum machine it does not seem to come off as well as I would have expected, sounding rather thin and weedy compared to the full sound of the keyboards. A major departure for the second album, and one which I think is mostly successful. A definite nod towards Throbbing Gristle, and an intriguing effort from the General.