TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Simon Haydo - The Illusion of an Alternative Choice
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Electronic music concept albums are always a tough proposition. Techno producer Simon Haydo delivers his sophomore LP with a voice of dissent aimed at the corruption, scepticism, segregation and abuse of power prevalent in his Swedish homeland. Heavy material to bog you down while ruminating to music. I prefer the alternative concept. Like UMFANG with her album last year, Haydo has used a single instrument to make his new album, in his case, the Korg Ms20 synthesiser. Not for the first time I hasten to add, he's actually been faithfully monogamous for several releases including Redux, his debut album (released less than a year ago on John Talabot's HVNX label) and I Watch Them All As They Fall EP on Studio Barnhus from 2014. And while UMFANG's sound was stripped back and vulnerable, the clinical beats and cold, resolute edge perhaps reflected in the limitations of her hardware, Haydo's sound is, by contrast, warmer and fuller.

Using a single instrument to make music is no gimmick though. Challenging perhaps but I believe Haydo when he claims to have faced few creative challenges from working in this way – the range of sounds and styles he's eked out of the Ms20 avoid uniformity and ensure monotony never enter your thoughts. But why a single instrument? Innumerable reasons I'm sure but Haydo strongly advocates a less is more approach to his music:

The idea was to try and get as much as possible from as little as possible

An admirable goal. In retrospect, since his 2013/14 series of ten EPs (via his own DEM record label) it could be argued that Haydo's production style has embraced this pronounced simplicity, converging on, not Minimal Techno but, a lean and efficient form of Techno.

Using and abusing a single instrument has clearly helped Haydo consolidate his ideas, perfectly illustrated in the two distinctly different tracks ph<7 and Mount S.H.. And this clever sequencing is echoed throughout the album to great effect, contrasting styles agitate to emphasise their redeeming features. I particularly like the way the cold and clanging, one dimensional riff of Epicenter of Cool wakes you from the slumbering melodic chords of Not for You? And when Haydo really experiments he produces the more memorable moments, like the weird, pulsing bass noises on L.L. Oddity or the alien white noise textures on 145.

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Listens: 17
  • Highlight: Mount S.H.
  • Label: Peder​ ​Mannerfelt​ ​Produktion
  • Release Date: 2nd Feb 2018
Simon Haydo - The Illusion of an Alternative Choice

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