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A Magazine for Sheffield

Timothy J Fairplay Free Andromeda

Timothy J Fairplay’s latest release takes the listener on a journey to deepest, darkest space. It's a perfect match for the Swedish imprint Hoga Nord.

Released: 25 March 2022
Free Andromeda

Free Andromeda conjures up images of some fictional late 1970s sci-fi, where the inhabitants of that galaxy battle some fictional evil empire. In my mind that’s what I imagine it would accompany, and Fairplay’s soundtrack-styled electro LP paints a striking layer on that vision.

There's a blisteringly hot start to the album as LEDs are pushed into the red on 'The Gang Sets Free'. From the opening chords you realise that this album isn’t going to have too many lulls and that we’re in for quite a ride. 'Dreams of Andromeda' takes the pace up a notch with bubbling arpeggiators, cosmic pads and eventually a heavy pounding metallic beat forged for the dancefloor. Even though this is arguably filed under the genre of electro, it’s not conventional in any sense of the word – there's other influences to be found, notably techno, as well as cold wave and new wave.

'Maniac Death' is a superb piece of driving electro which again feels remarkably cinematic. The title track repeats the mantra while a myriad of twisted and discordant synths ratchet up the tension. There are breaks from the pulsating 808s, with 'A Remarkable Claim' delivering that kind of cinematic tension you find in John Carpenter's The Thing and Assault on Precinct 13. Good music should conjure thoughts and images – this release might not be a concept album, but listeners will conjure up their own visionary concepts.