A quarter century of the same drum machines and basslines turned future music into golden oldies. Visionaries don't make techno based on particular instruments but a set of techniques which can dilate time, implode sound, and confound expectation. Stewart Walker returns after a 6 year retreat to bring his own future sound with “Ivory Tower Broadcast.” The Ivory Tower refers to a cloistered and elitist mental space removed from practical considerations and criticism. It's a perfect metaphor for a music studio: Escape the noise outside and start from nothing but memory. Forget the rules, they're from a long time ago.
Based heavily on live instruments and the scrape and noise of performance, “Ivory Tower Broadcast” tightly controls and contorts the human element and splays it across the timecorrected perfection of sequenced rhythm. Disparate recreations of post-punk basslines and shoegaze guitars are sliced through with “drunken master” scratching inspired by the late great DJ Screw. German zithers and Japanese kotos are plucked and strummed to recall the warm chorus of Appalachian mountain music. The techno is there in the tension and hypnosis of the beat, stripped dry and metronomic to support the luxurious sound . On “Ivory Tower Broadcast” Stewart corrals sounds from different memories and geography and binds them into an emotional experience with rarely seen vision and skill.