In a landscape of bedroom producers and “tmblr-wave”, an album made completely on the lone produced using no acoustic instruments is probably not so much of a rarity these days. And while these things are true of this album – what makes it stand head and shoulders over a lot of records of that ilk, in my opinion, is the sense of experience and maturity that underpins these compositions. Elastic Wasteland is SJD’s sixth album and the first one he’s decided to make completely solo, just him, synths and drum machines. And, I think, it’s this decision to exclude external interference that has lead to such a distilled record. I’ve been listening to the album for a few weeks now, and keep finding a new favorite moment each and every time I return.
The album opens now the early lead single The Lizard Kings, which musically twists, gently pulsing while Sean’s voice steadily ties it together in a manner which is inexplicably both comforting and disconcerting simultaneously. Make Love Ask Questions Later is a spring-time of a song; with synths that glisten like dew drops – it’s just gorgeous. While current radio hit-pick These Are The Names is cybernetic and reminds me a little of Gary Numan – I really enjoy how the machine-like disconnection in this song is countered perfectly with something so human.
As of publication, my current favorite tracks on the album are Song of Baal; a gentle electro-ballad which is, to put it simply, heart-breakingly good – and the dystopian instrumental Hypnotised By Roads – but the whole album is paying off in spades – delivering something new and special on every visit. – review by Andrew Tidball