Minotaur Shock – Qi
The Bristolian producer David Edwards, aka Minotaur Shock, returns to Bytes with Qi, a six-track suite of inventive electronic compositions produced on a single bit of kit. Qi is a vibrant record, one in which precision-engineered electronic tracks are given a delightfully unpredictable edge by the producer’s off-the-cuff recording methods. Minotaur Shock has released six albums on labels 4AD, Melodic and Bytes as well as remixed a wide-range of artists, including Gold Panda, Bloc Party, His Name is Alive, GLOK and Super Furry Animals.
Rather than whittling away at every element of his beat programming or layering up overdubs, Minotaur Shock mastermind David Edwards opted to tape each track here in one take (“or two, if I really cocked it up”) using just an Electron Digitone synthesiser. This might appear a high-risk strategy, but it’s one which has opened up Minotaur Shock’s sound and produced a brilliantly colourful set in the process. Golden-age IDM and 90s electronic music of the Rephlex/Warp school are the guiding lights for Qi. Many of the tracks feature an array of bright synth lines which zip around the mix in a manner that is both rhythmic and melodious at the same time, and these sounds are often combined with chunky bass thwacks and all sorts of unusual percussion tones. Cuts like ‘Qua’ and ‘Qui’ have a dancefloor-friendly thrust to them, but the inventive production will also reward repeated headphones listening. At the end of Qi comes ‘Qis’, a gorgeous palette-cleanser in which Edwards strips out the beats and lets the listener luxuriate in harmonious, twinkling synth work.
Qi is a set of freewheeling Electron Digitone productions from David Edwards’ Minotaur Shock project.