Social Electrics [2000]

by Bovine Life

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    Review from www.themilkfactory.co.uk in 2001

    During the nineties, Chris Dooks became a respected filmmaker in the UK, thanks to his music documentaries, including a film on Scanner man Robin Rimbaud for the South Bank Show. In 1999, Dooks developed Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a debilitating disease affecting energy levels and the nervous system. Bound to his Edinburgh flat, with his film making activities on hold, Chris’s computer became his lifeline with the outside world, and, as he started working on some music, he also developed friendships with a multitude of very different artists around the world. Collaborations took shape, although Dooks never met his musical partners, all work being done via exchange of (pre- broadband) MP3s, on which Dooks would work when his health would allow. Social Electrics collects some of these moments.

    Despite the variety of collaborators present on this record, Social Electrics is an incredibly intense and homogene work. As collaborations alternate with solo efforts, it rapidly becomes difficult to discern between internal and external inputs. With elements of hip-hop, electro, field recordings or electronica confronting each other, this album is dense, complex and challenging. The tracks, very often made up of multiple elements juxtaposed, are short, rarely going over the four minutes mark, and held tightly together.

    Sounds come thick and fast, positioning themselves in the anarchic structures. Elements of voices, at times lacerated, plain at others, cohabite with bleeps, clicks, analogue noises and abrasive sounds. Out of this chaos, melodies sometimes emerge, and seem to bring some cohesion to the work. Dooks and his virtual guests, including Janeck Schaefer, Matt Elliot, of The Third Eye Foundation and Köhn, distort each other’s universe, challenge each component, recycle ideas, manipulate, experiment, and ultimately, create a most poetic symphony of promiscuous atmospheres, precarious beats and sonic interferences.

    Amongst the darkest and most uncomfortable moments of Social Electrics are found in the broken vocals of Ether Works Part 1 or the digital terrorism of Homeostasis, while Sevumpteen or Now We Are Light demonstrate a more human approach to the same basic concept. In between these extremes, Dooks and friends put their compositions through an incredibly intense process, eliminating any unnecessary element, to work at the core of the soundscapes, applying sharp and aggressive movie-like montage techniques to underpin the bare essentials of this record. To complement this release, No One Sees Black, a short film Chris Dooks shot shotly before becoming sick.

    Social Electrics takes an effervescent and refreshing look at contemporary music, ignoring rules and concepts, transcending genres and influences, to offer a disarmingly touching poetic vision. Nothing comes between Dooks and his work, and this record becomes a poignant symbol of a man in fighting. Social Electric is the truly magnificent work of a man in love with life.
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BOVINE LIFE
Social Electrics

20 Tracks. 57mins02secs

Initially released on bip-hop.com

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released May 5, 2000

Bovine Life Tired But Wired
Bovine Life Vs Nathaniel 'Chief' Forrest O.J. Simpson
Bovine Life Vs Nathaniel 'Chief' Forrest The Smiles Of God
Bovine Life - Now We Are Traffic
Bovine Life Vs Matt Elliot - Ether Works Pt.1
Bovine Life - Sweepea
Bovine Life Vs Duodecimo - Maeow
Bovine Life Vs Matt Elliot - Ether Works Pt.2
Bovine Life Vs Köhn - Sevumpteen
Bovine Life Vs Smyglyssna - Düsseldorf Girl
Bovine Life - State Stone Glass Wind
Bovine Life Vs Octorock - Atay Atae
Bovine Life Vs M.C. McCooch Dog - Trigger Finger
Bovine Life Vs Matt Elliot - Ether Works Pt.3
Bovine Life Eats Alku - Alku Heartbeat
Bovine Life - Weak Latte Symphony
Bovine Life Vs Köhn - Homeostasis
Bovine Life Vs Yituey - Vida Torpe
Bovine Life Vs Janek Schaefer - Dog Day Cicada
Bovine Life - Now We Are Light

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