Robot Sculpture: J.F. Derry, John McLaughlin Archives

It is a surprise to learn that the beautifully haunting soundscapes conjured by electronica maestro Richard Garrett on his latest recording venture Robot Sculpture started life as algorithms and constraints in an audio package. The post-production and overdubbing required to then translate these pieces into the aesthetic artforms that they are now must have been an enormous undertaking.

…In parts the album is not dislike Clint Mansell’s soundtrack work for films such as Pi and Requiem for a Dream. Guitar tones vary from metal… to the delicate acoustic. A short surreal Zappa-esque baroque whimsey is sharply followed by unearthly minimalist piece like John McLaughlin’s intro to Aura. These experiments are extended for some time before returning with an Irish jig (Welsh surely?) and another track with elegantly phrased chorus-FX guitar.

…overall, this album is a great achievement as a solo project, displaying some excellent playing and superb programming and mixing. In a musical world dominated by overproduction and electronic prostitution, here we find a wonderful sensitivity for what is enough, what is suitable and what is right.

J.F. Derry, John McLaughlin Archives, UK