Feed Me – Calamari Tuesday

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Formerly known for his Drum and Bass releases as Spor, Jon Gooch has recently rocketed to mainstream acclaim under his new guise, Feed Me. Thanks, in no small part to the release of a number of EPs, Feed Me’s Big AdventureTo The Stars, Feed Me’s Escape from Electric Mountain, and Death by Robot, all on Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5’s record label, mau5trap. Monday 14th October marks a very important date for the musician and electronic producer Jon Gooch. Not only is Gooch releasing his debut full length album as Feed Me, but he is doing so on his newly created, independent record label, Sotto Voce.

Calamari Tuesday, sees the release of a large amount of new unheard material, as well as collecting singles, ‘Love Is All I Got,’ and ‘Death By Robot,’ and unreleased material such as ‘Rat Trap’ and ‘Ebb & Flow,’ which have been frequenting Feed Me’s live sets for the last year. In a recent interview with VIBE, Gooch summarised his thoughts on the release of Calamari Tuesday, stating: “I’ve always wanted to do a full length, it feels good to get the first hurdle over with. I’d always rather work in album format, it’s an actual statement to the world, regardless of how changes in media evolve how people can buy them, you’re still laying out a portfolio of you and saying ‘this is me, now.'” So, the question is, does Feed Me’s portfolio impress?

In short, yes. Gooch is in top form, crafting some excellent tracks that push his production capabilities in new directions, whilst retaining the distinct sound fans are used to. The track, ‘Lonely Mountain’ serves as a perfect example, flowing through four different movements that each showcase different aspects of Gooch’s musical skill, from heavy kicks and funky synths to a seamlessly integrated guitar solo. Gooch’s efforts to innovate are present again in ‘Ebb & Flow,’ featuring vocals from his frequent collaborator Tasha Baxter. Originally produced for Baxter, Gooch has crafted his own personal take on the track, which builds from a slow burning intro, overlaid with Baxter’s mellow vocals, to a searing dubstep drop, and an even heavier stop start variation at the end, due to a jarringly sudden cut off applied to the kicks and synths. Though this may not be to everyone’s tastes, for fans it certainly delivers.

Gooch’s collaboration with alternative dance band, Crystal Fighters, ‘Love Is All I Got,’ provides a catchy tune that will certainly please most listeners, due to it’s slightly lighter and ‘poppier’ feel. This was reflected upon it’s release as a single, premièring as “Hottest Record of The Week,” on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show, and being subsequently chosen by Fearne Cotton, as her “Record of The Week.” Gooch’s solo effort, ‘Death By Robot,’ was released to lesser acclaim earlier this year, is still just as fun. The track sees Gooch experiment with a Talkbox Synth, achieving some entertaining Daft Punk-esque robot groove vocals, that are sure to be popular.

Tracks such as ‘Chinchilla,’ and ‘Rat Trap,’ round off the album with great melodies set to Gooch’s signature growling bass and funky twangs. ‘Rat Trap,’ particularly excels with its deep resonating kicks and brings in a subtle trap influence for some added variety. The album closes with the track, ‘Last Requests,’ featuring Jenna G. The track starts promisingly with original lyrics, accompanied by piano and atmospheric backing from Gooch, but later seems to lack the power of past collaborations. Arguably this is due to the repetitive nature of the chorus’ lyrics. Overall the track is by no means a failure, but just seems to fall a little short of the highs established on Calamari Tuesday‘s other tracks and doesn’t quite satisfy as the finale to such a well put-together album.

To conclude, Calamari Tuesday is a exemplar debut album for any producer, ranging across styles and showcasing versatility when collaborating with other artists, especially in the case of ‘Love Is All I Got.’ Feed Me’s sound may be a little unsettling to casual listeners, at times, thanks to aggressive kicks and synths as well as experimental rhythms, but those accustomed to Gooch’s production will certainly be satisfied. Calamari Tuesday successfully encapsulates all the aspects of Feed Me that have gained Jon Gooch his following.

8/10

Calamari Tuesday is released on Monday 14th October as the debut release on Jon Gooch’s new record label Sotto Voce.

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Film and English student also into music and travelling.

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