PRJ008 - Puffinboy Make Motion Matter
Reviews for Make Motion Matter
Splendid E-zine, September 2005
'Puffinboy are a traditional guitar/bass/drum outfit who've added a keyboard and a few samples to their formula, resulting in music fit for awkward booty-shaking and enthusiastic blogging/beard-stroking alike. You may not know it yet, but this is great news for you: Make Motion Matter is the kind of album that pasty white boys and girls dream of.
Puffinboy's songs would be solid even if all of their material was sampled, but much like The Go! Team (who hail from the same Brighton scene), Make Motion Matter gains a significant advantage from its mix of prepackaged samples and original music. Take "Lost In Location": the grinding bass line and jazzy drums give it a slightly menacing tone, which is greatly enhanced by the layers of screeching guitar and chattering voices the band adds (particularly as the one word that's clearly audible throughout the song is "terror"). Similarly, "Jack-Hammered" is built around a repetitive guitar lick and an insistent drum beat, but the synthy squeaks and female vocals atop those instruments make Puffinboy sound like Ladytron stuttering towards destruction.
In fact, Make Motion Matters often sounds like it's teetering on the edge of destruction. "Coldest Inside", for example, offers a good idea of what a Casio keyboard might sound like if it were on the brink of exploding. "Chinese Silence" and "Sometimes It's Gravy" reinforce this aesthetic as the album draws to a close, while keeping a close eye on the dance floor: the beats never lag (and often speed up as the songs progress), but at the same time, the closer they come to their conclusion, the more it feels like the album is on the verge of a spectacular crash.
Of course, that crash never comes -- it would make listeners stop dancing, and therefore defeat the purpose of the band's existence. Puffinboy exist to make entertaining music. If you had any doubt as to whether they could make the jump from singles to a full-length, Make Motion Matter will put it to rest.'
Diskant.net, September 2005
'Glitch, new-wave, playfulness, art-school, analogue synths, spoken vocals, computer burbles and real drums. The first couple of times through this album, all I was left with was a tiny collection of applicable mini-phrases, but no real sense of what the record was actually like. You can't really describe something as guitar-based and beat-heavy as this as "ambient", but it's an effective description of how it slips past you without leaving much of a mark, as though the record's reasonably dense textures are constructed from some new space-material that looks solid but is hard to get a grip on. Most of the songs on "Make Motion Matter" establish a groove early on and then are content to riff away on it, hypnotically, until running out of steam. "Lost in Location", for example, being an hallucinogenic spiral of overlapping spoken-word vocals and angular guitar that barely changes throughout its five-minute-plus length, while the title track nods at the current DFA-led nu-disco-punk fad, but in keeping with the rest of the album the increase in intensity that normally justifies an eight-and-a-half-minute disco tune is glacial. But while the album may lack cheap thrills, it's never trite, clearly isn't desperate for your approval, and finishes before it exhausts its welcome. A pleasant musical palette-cleanser between more substantial courses, then.'
Robots & Electronic Brains, July 2005
'Puffinboy invents a new genre.. Breakbeak. Cut sharp into the intersection of the already splintered territories of disco/funk, abstract/electro and motorik/rock, Breakbeak is something else every time you look, but constant. A visual metaphor: it's the kind of thing that conjures up those well-known images of four man-robots in relief against a red background. But in this picture the frame widens to reveal that the image is just a sticker on a guitar tuned to treble, and as the view pulls back further the guitar is just an icon for a synth preset and it expands until the synth itself is under the arm of a man-robot on a red poster..'
De:Bug, June 2005
'Hab ihr ein Lieblings-Indietronica Label aus Brighton? Wenn nein dann wäre es jetzt endgültig Zeit für Foolproof. Die sind ruff, frisch und jung. Vermuten wir wenigstens. Puffin Boy ist eine Band mit Klimpersynths, Schlagzeug, Bass und Gesang, und klingen als wäre in England immer irgendwo Punk, man müsste nur ordendlich Lofikellermässig losrocken und dann klappt das schon und klingt zeitlos nach gutgelaunten Jams.'
Artrocker Issue 10, April 2005
'Tom and I first came across Puffin Boy (AKA Andy Pyne) on a trip to Brighton’s Totally Radio when the DJ following us opened his show with an oddball indie cutups and beats artpop 7” by the boy. Since then, a couple of years ago, I think Andy has had a hand in a number of releases on Foolproof who, like Puffin Boy, are Brighton based. Every release has been fascinating and distinctly lo-fi and DIY cut and paste bedroom antics right from the very first Braer Rabbit 7 and 12”-ers.
But to be honest this album is what I have been waiting for — a more live and band orientated version of the whole project and in these artrocking days it couldn’t be more timely. That’s not to say for them the big time has arrived, because Puffin Boy shares many aesthetics with the much over- looked ‘The Chap’ and ‘The Now’, but, with both Clor and Tom Vek finding audiences perhaps there’s some hope.
Intriguingly Pyne is the are drummer (as well as synth player)
alongside a bass, a synth and a guitar player with varied and occasional vocals and scratchy and disonant white noises.
“Make Motion Matter’, the title track epitomises the album. It’s an eight and a half minute disco funked workout, is played and non-produced in bright and brittle form. The jagged guitars are excellent throughout while the synths meander and warble over Pyne’s locked-in beats, both “Lost in Locaton” is a menacing as it gets with more of the talkover vocal style — haunting but difficult to make out beneath a PIL meets ‘24 hour party people” period Mondays. In fact imagine if Martin Hannett had got hold of Talking Heads funk instead of Eno.
This is uneasy listening, especially over a whole album and without much song structure, but then again so was that recent Scritti rerelease, and THAT’S a classic. Buy the album and lookout for them at an Artrocker Club near you soon.
Unpeeled, April 2005
'The great thing about music is that you can be as sensible and accessible as Coldplay and then, with a few deft and daft touches of insanity warp things into special places. Take “Jack-Hammered”, a perfectly pop-tastic electro guitar riff and then the writhing and impossibly lovely cacophony of every 80’s arcade game squelch, bleep and warp splashed over, it is great stuff, the sonic equivalent of the sober-suited, never suspected college boy who turns out to be the one with the kidney collection in his home operating room. So it goes, perfectly sound tunes, like the Orange Juiced “Coldest Insides” given the chills with some simple and simply brilliant stick percussion and iced synth showers. Standout here is the Numanoid goes pomp static n daylight throbbery of “Chinese Whispers”, a core meltdown of sound, a disintergration, a track that’s disassembled by the sounds gradually fed into the mix, putting out the fires with gasoline kind of thing. Have a go…'
Norman Records, April 2005
'Another quiet talent, Puffin Boy, have a mini album jobbie out on CD. 'Make Motion Matter' sounds like the B-52's being taken hostage by the cast of 'Are You Being Served' at first. It gets into a locked groove of funky noodles & digital chatter further along, percussive but a bit directionless to be honest. Then they go tripping down the stairs marked "Death In Vegas/Primal Scream zone-out jams this way" Good head music which I'm sure would take me somewhere blasted over a PA but perhaps a bit more weird out freakiness & strange pop nous needed. Nice Joy Division bassline on track 5 guys!'