3 out of 5
Label: WéMè Records
Produced by: Jonathan Taylor
Having built up a dedicated following as a Rephlex-er, Global Goon (Jonathan Taylor) flipped things up a bit by not only switching over to his own label (J-HOK) but also shifting away from the downbeat IDM he’d been working on to something a bit more boppy and groove based. At first glance, it seems like a massive shift, and towards a more simplistic style, but I do think this undercurrent started to crop up on his last Rephlex disc – Vatican Nitez – and also rather proved Goon’s growth as an artist, as his releases under the Aphex Twin umbrella very much bore the march of that scene, whereas his releases after that became more uniquely identifiable.
The Bessemer Cocktail was an early exploration of that new sound, which isn’t to say it’s lacking in confidence, but Goon purposefully swipes a lot of recognizable pop beats (stripped down to their barest element, then translated to synths) and litters them across the EP, making it seem a bit goofier than usual. This changeup and attitude seems to be hinted at in some of the song titles – Doesn’t Sound Like Me, I Actually Gots Ya! – but there is still an emotional core that peeks out here (Croggoths Of Amour, Charney (For The Love Of The World) ) – melody sneaking into the cheek – and the misleading simplicity of video game bleeps like Metal Cheetah belie a careful balance between keeping things clear cut while also weaving in an impressive array of beats and flourishes.
Rather short, so it’s hard to dig in to and make much more of it, but definitely an enjoyable addition and update to Global Goon’s catalogue and style.