Some artists like to bury their influences within their music. Obscure references or hidden melodies that reflect a particular song or sound of musicians they love. Other artists wear musical influences on their sleeves. Bocuma is the latter type of artist. Otherwise known as Martin Millar from Carlow, Bocuma is entirely proud of his inspirations, and it shows – most notably Boards of Canada, with his alias even being taken from a track off the 1998’s classic ‘Music Has the Right to Children.’
That being said, with Boards of Canada being forerunners for this dreamy, nostalgic, ambient IDM, it’s hard to escape these comparisons (even if you are the type of musician that tends to shy away from these comparisons). However, Bocuma’s ‘Summer Pylon’ manages to hold its own against the countless number of artists that try replicate this hazy feel.
‘Summer Pylon’ features a number of tracks from previously produced EPs and weaves them all together in under a warm cloth of synth. As with all artists falling under the ‘ambient’ genre these days, ‘Summer Pylon’ does manage to have a more live feel than that label suggests. The track Over Choice is a prime example: beginning with swirling synthesizers airing around a spoken word sample, you become accustomed to this wholly electronic sound – until the drums kick in.
This kind of dynamic is there throughout both sides of this record. From the soft, low-key pulses of Trá Mhór to the almost hectic, acid-flavoured beats on Too Much Information, ‘Summer Pylon’ manages to throw out new sounds just when you need them – especially true with such a lengthy tracklist. The song Epitope hits you with dark notes midway through just as the repetitious melody feels like it’s run its course, where it gives the track a second life and begins again.
The idea of a second life is a common theme on ‘Summer Pylon,’ particularly on Cycle235, where the track’s transition in its last thirty seconds turns into what sounds like a lost soundtrack cut of the ’90s video game, Wipeout. With all these comparisons being made, ‘Summer Pylon’ almost sounds like a record created out of homage. This idea wouldn’t be unfair to suggest; after all, with Bocuma having previously created a trilogy of grindhouse-style soundtracks to non-existent ’80s b-movies, this project is a clear example of someone making music they really love and that’s probably the best part.