Review! Frameworks’ Down-Tempo ‘Old Friend’ EP

Tuesday 11th June 2013 | Alex


Manchester might churn out musicians but it’s a big city – where there’s a lot of people there’s gonna be a lot of music. Frameworks is Mancunian, and his ‘Old Friend’ EP surfaced June 3.

It’s not hip hop and I don’t know why everyone thinks it is, maybe it’s teetering on the edge, but ‘Old Friend’ is a down-tempo, folky, almost funky electronic thing. It’s not bad – it’s irresistible when it’s in full swing, but Frameworks is self-important even for an RJD2 influencee.

In a way I get it, he slots dissonant piecemals together noisily but remarkably into a masterwork and when it’s all revolving, churning in on itself it’s tantalizing - see ‘Fireworks’. Then again, it’ll always sound synthetic and broken without any insides; it’s a grand electronic patchwork but lots of parts can’t replace a whole.

Most of it’s halfway between a ‘Garageband’ song and The Lion Kind soundtrack. It’s really not that bad, it’s just not as great as it thinks it is. I like that he’s experimenting – it’s magnificently orchestral and larger than life, but ‘Old Friend’ (Track 1) is flickering African drums and metallic twanging and I’m not having that. ‘Patience’ is the finisher and it’s got some soothing mid-track bubbling but ditch the cosmic violins, man. They’re too self-important.

For all its determination the intensity isn’t in the right place – most of the time he doesn’t manage to mix repression and courage as he wants to and it’s just an annoying clash of mighty and flimsy. The overly collaged production is abandoned now and again (good!) but annoying horns replace it and you know that music they play alongside a cartoon character when they’re trying to stay upright? Yeah, it sounds like that. But nice try, and I really mean that.



Written by Alex Dean -