Aim : Hinterland

Manchester beats. Well, beats Birmingham, maybe...

Isolation, as the [a]Boards Of Canada[/a] will tell you, can do wonders for your creativity. And while producer Andy Turner’s particular beatz rock clubs in Manchester, London and Bristol, his work clearly benefits from time spent, away from it all, in Barrow, Cumbria.

At root, the Aim sound is archetypal Grand Central; jazzy, old skool breaks. But Turner’s emphasis on melody and song-structure, various production ticks and bursts of folky instrumentation – not to mention Stephen ‘Babybird Jones’ falsetto vocal on perverse soul shimmer ‘Good Disease’ – all mark Turner out as his own, unpredictable man.

More upbeat, sonically at least, than his debut album ‘Cold Water Music’, ‘The Girl Who Fell Through The Ice’ posits vocalist Kate Rogers in a string-soaked pop orgasm, while Oakland rappers Souls Of Mischief wring every ounce of bounce from ‘No Restriction’. The likes of ‘Linctus’ and ‘Vipco’, meanwhile, confirm Turner’s talent for the melancholic and cinematic respectively. Not since the glory days of Nightmares On Wax has laidback sounded this large.

Tony Naylor