Adventure - Weird Work
Through the Carrollton viaduct, in the sun of Transamerica Tower, and from the darkest corners of Hansa House, we can see shadows with Crazy Legs, fluctuating to the nature of this Weird Work, the latest release from Benny Boeldt aka Adventure. It follows the chillwave-fuelled 2011 record Lesser Known, and is his third under this moniker.
There's always something therapeutic about hearing the bitrates of synthesisers as they squelch through speakers, 'Catching Up', however on Weird Work there is a smoother leaning. The polyphonic nature of this Sega Megadrive-type aesthetic is engaged in an idiosyncratic manner, establishing both warmth and divergence to the rhythmical complexity of the pieces: 'Days Off'.
For a record where you can almost hear the screeches of tyres down The Block, it doesn't seem to be able to ever detach itself from Sheffield in the late-eighties. Take 'Laser Blast', there's an almost traditionalist allegiance to early-Warp in the personality and aesthetics, rhythmically, particularly through the pronunciations and inflection.
Boeldt declared that Weird Work was on opportunity for him to take away any "restrictive guidelines to the way I play or compose," and pertaining to form, this is fascinating. Flourishes of guitar being abused by an atrial fluttering beat, a prominent screech from the control pad and a thousand selfish afterthoughts: 'Alone' may be the most fulfilling in Adventure's canon.
With Lesser Known in mind, I can't help but notice an overall absence of engaging melody and prominent themes which prevents songs like 'Constantly' and 'Nervous' from really encapsulating you as a listener. There's an almost clinical feel to the staccato synthesiser which, with respect to previous material, feels like it alienates aspects of Boeldt's talents. Sometimes this compliments the album's other palette; the moments of atonality and confusion on 'Happiness' are swarming and entrancing.
In terms of Boeldt's career, this is a record which doesn't have too much unchartered territory. Where we hear brief melodic exercises cyclically interacting on 'Flower' his chipwave tendencies expose themselves, whilst this creates all kinds of conflicts, it's not as much of an adventure as I'd hoped. However, there's an intensity and diligence to the writing which evokes a deeper relationship with the listener after repeated engagements.