Music Reviews

Baby Ford

Basking In The Brakelights

Force Inc

These days, when you think of techno music you think of a sound that is heartless and robotic. The genre has become a metallic husk without much life, depth or passion. Techno has spawned an evil bastard child, trance music.

Indeed these are dark times, when synthesized knock offs, shoddy compilations and over active rich kids with lots of gear are everywhere. But do not despair, Baby Ford’s Basking In The Brakelights has arrived to save our souls.

Wigan’s Peter Ford has returned from a six-year hiatus to give rebirth to the musical form he helped pioneer in the early and mid Nineties. Growing up in Wigan, the Northern Soul capital of Britain, gave Ford an understanding and appreciation that music needs feeling, melody and heart. He has always applied this to his music.

As Baby Ford he helped launch Acid House music in the UK. He took his affinity with Detroit techno, Chicago house and soul music and blended it all up in dreamy electronic soundscapes. Ford’s early career was massively successful on the commercial front. “Children Of The Revolution,” “Beach Bump,” “Fetish,” “Move On,” “Oochie Koochie” and “Chikki Chikki Aah Aah” all were dancefloor staples.

“Crease Release” is a great opening track. Its sound is reminiscent of early Cabaret Voltaire. It has little bleeps and buzzes in it that tweek throughout a snappy 606 bass drum backbeat. “Plaza,” “All Set,” “Exopolis” and “All that Nothing” are straightforward techno tracks with hyperactive skirmishes of percussion emeshed in Atari-like melodies and bouncy rhythm tracks.

The album has some soulful moments. “Built In” and “Cold Sweat” are the more deep house sounding, featuring vocal snippets scattered amid Chicago house beats. “NYC Slippers” is by far the funkiest joint here, while “Parallel Life” offers a reprieve with its winding, mellow vibe.

For the most part, Baby Ford does indeed bask in breakbeat here, but he also moves about freely from deep house to techno with seamless ease. He is soaking in sounds, grinding them up and churning them out as something completely different. The result is a solid album filled with range, focus and progression.

People who enjoy noncommercial techno will enjoy Baby Ford’s new record. Purveyors of electronica that is both nostalgic and innovative will enjoy this album. But be wary, it is not for the faint of heart or the closed minded. If you were listening to electronic music “back in the day,” then you will love this. This is a much needed dose of oxygen on the lifeless overcrowded dancefloor of contemporary electronic music.

Baby Ford: http://music.hyperreal.org/bford/


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