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Bovine Mindstate — Bovine Mindstate
(Bandcamp Not Applicable no#, 2023, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2024-03-25

Bovine Mindstate Cover art

In the ranks of the electronic music we’ve covered at Exposé, Bovine Mindstate is an outlier. This project of English musician Tim Giles doesn’t really fit into any of the recognized categories of electronic music: it’s not ambient, it’s not Berlin School, it’s not dance-oriented, and it’s not completely abstract. In fact it is all of those things, in varying degrees at varying times, and more. If I had to pick words for what Bovine Mindstate is, I’d gravitate towards “imaginative” and “creative,” which are obviously not categories or sub-genres. But that’s part of the appeal to music like this — it doesn’t fit in any of the accepted boxes. The PR material describes the music as “genre-fluid,” and that’s a term I really like. The title track of Bovine Mindset’s self-titled album starts with synthesizer notes fading in and out coupled with washes of noise and shimmering high notes, plus weird semi-percussive blips and what sounds like actual tom-toms that don’t have a regular pattern. “OK,” you think, “we’re in abstract territory here.” Then “The Cow Creamer” starts, and we have a sparse drum pattern with a bouncy bass rhythm that develops into a kind of dub groove. The track is full of quirky sounds and interesting details that are revealed on close listening. The next track carries on in a vaguely dub mode, this time with a busier drum loop and different types of synthesizers. Giles is best known as a drummer, so his fondness for incorporating such rhythms is understandable. Other tracks venture even farther into abstract soundscapes, and then there’s “After Spiegel,” the longest track on the album, which is built around a quick percolating sequence and builds with the addition of other sounds, bringing in the drums with a jazzy groove that eventually falls apart into a sparse interlude before a chaotic finale. When it comes to electronic music, Tim Giles is like a cat presented with a room full of open boxes, jumping from one to another, in search of whatever it is that makes cats love boxes. Not that he’s likely motivated by cat instincts — oh, forget it, that metaphor went off the rails. If you’re looking for some genre-fluid electronic music, seek out Bovine Mindstate and commune with the cows.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Tim Giles / Bovine Mindstate

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