The Cyclist - Bones in Motion
You know that sense of pride you get when you see a band or artist deliver on the promise they initially displayed? The debut album from The Cyclist fills me with this. Even in the context of electronic music (an umbrella term), hearing an album like this really makes one sit up and pay attention. The Northern Irish producer with no name (he's only ever been referred to by his stage name) has only gone and schooled all of his competition with an album that initially looks like an effort to sit through (15 tracks, almost an hour in length), but instead breezes by. It's not quite as full-on as a straight-up house record would be; neither is it as linear and repetitive as music written for the dancefloor can sometimes seem. It is at times subtle ('Stove'), at times powerful (as on the epic title track), displaying variety whilst never outstaying its welcome - in short, it's just about everything one could hope for an album of this type to sound like.
The producer's lightness of touch is something to behold. He hasn't restricted himself to just one form of music, but instead would appear to have his fingers in several different pies. The music on Bones in Motion is certainly diverse (for instance, one wouldn't think that some tracks, such as the scene-setting opening pair 'Feel Beauty' and 'Mangel' could appear on the same album as each other - much less sit side-by-side - but they do, and this dexterity is what makes listening to his debut album such a compelling experience. At times, it's impossible to guess what's coming next, and with The Cyclist often running tracks into each other, it's difficult to know where one song ends and another begins, further aiding the album's accomplished flow. It's not as restless as this might suggest, however; he knows exactly when to speed things up or slow things down, with some of the shorter tracks providing an effective contrast to the lengthier offerings.
It's on the back half of the album that The Cyclist really hits his stride, however, with the run of tracks from 'Fleet Meeting' to the dazzling closer 'Sleeping' providing more thrills over five tracks than some albums could manage in their entirety, showing that The Cyclist is outstanding in his field. It may have taken him a while to get here, but he's finally arrived, and Bones in Motion is an exquisite debut album that you'll want to listen to all over again once it finishes. It's layered and nuanced enough that one listen just won't do. He's been operating on the fringes for a while now, but now's the time for The Cyclist to step into the spotlight and take his much-deserved place among the upper echelons of the Irish producer scene. He's leagues ahead of anyone on the island, whether in the Republic or up north, and the best part is that he's only gotten started.