FRED RAPID - Glassworks

Fred Rapid - Glassworks

10 songs
50:23 minutes
***** ****
Haute Areal


Although I really liked the two singles preceding Fred Rapid’s debut album, I was more than just a little sceptical if his minimalist take on electronic music would work on a longplayer, especially on one that is fifty minutes long. I was not only not disappointed, but even pleasantly surprised at how much better his musical vision works on a more spacious format. The six minute long opener Opening Night is a fitting start into Glassworks, demonstrating the different genres that Fred Rapid is mashing into something quite unique. The vocals have a somewhat cold quality that remind of artists like D.A.F. and Kraftwerk in the early Eighties. The music sometimes comes up with really bizarre sounding techno elements with a possible ironic undertone. The surreal lyrics only enhance that impression.

Once you consider that Fred Rapid has been recording the music live on an ancient Yamaha groovebox, the whole endeavour becomes even more admirable, since the artist has refused on purpose to use computers to ease the musical process. This is electronic music the way it was crafted in the pioneering days of the genre, and although Fred Rapid has an undeniable preference for minimalism, the music offers still enough variety to make the songs utterly listenable. The two singles already delineated Fred Rapid’s stylistic variety. Ponyboy is a very catchy track that would have been a certain success during the NDW movement, while Fred Rapid is a more experimental but also incredibly intriguing piece of more experimental electronica.

Fred Rapid is like no other artist, and therefore Glassworks will not be released on CD. You can either purchase it digitally on the Internet, or you can order the pricier version that comes with a catalogue where twenty-nine artists have created artworks for the different songs. Again you don’t get a CD, but a download code, but also a seven inch vinyl record that features one additional track not from the album. In times where more and more electronic music artists rely on their software programs to create their music, it’s fascinating to listen to an artist who is deliberately limiting his musical scope to finally and maybe even paradoxically come up with something that is most original.

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