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The world lost Holger Czukay recently, and I will mourn him – at least until I put on one of his records at which point I’m bound to smile. That ability to make music that gets people smiling is a rare one – not the same as comedy music, smiling comes from an innate glee. And there are times I get the same response from the debut EP by halF unusuaL, whose creator shares with Holger a fascination with idiosyncratic sounds, gleefully simple melodies, and bass guitar.

The general feel is of a broadcast from a wonky future in a European arthouse science fiction movie. First track restrainT brings to mind a drunkard’s walk with a Geiger counter. Later - on injekT - the feel is of a slightly melancholy robot that’s escaped in a scientific institute. Next - vaJ - the prevailing vibe is of an android on a catwalk.

Throughout, there’s a precision about the sounds, and I’m mostly baffled as to their origins. And that’s OK – it’s what they conjure that matters. There’s hints of a double bass here, a wheezing fairground ride there, a tropical bird lost in warehouse rafters, and I swear the sound of a foggy woodland is there as background at one point. These are words failing to capture what’s going on, but if they paint pictures for you that tantalise, then you’re quite possibly someone this EP would appeal to.

Adrian Reynolds

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