London WC2 12 Bar Club

Electronic music, by the way, is the new cross-channel ferry....

Electronic music, by the way, is the new cross-channel ferry. Sure, it gets you there, but for all that there’s a small price your inner ear sometimes has to pay. Dizziness. Disorientation. Oh, and most importantly of all, nausea.

If [a]Four Tet[/a]’s raddled jazz began the idea, it does not exist in isolation. Here to prove it is [a]Bola[/a]: long, woozy synthesised drones. The squeaks of gambolling dolphins. Subaquatic tubular bells. We follow the Bolaman through some top atmospheric larks, which could fittingly soundtrack low-oxygen scuba diving mishaps, or eyeline confusion when West End shopping. Any of your favourite brain sickness.

Of the Bolaman himself little is known, but with the excellent Boards Of Canada he shares a record label, a reverence for touchstones of lo-fi electronica (Aphex Twin‘s ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’, early Autechre), and even a notional affinity with nature films. But while the Boards view the squirrels from the sunlit lawns, on tracks like ‘Versivo’ you’ll find [a]Bola[/a] underwater, looking at the spiny fish.

A deep blue record in a deep blue sleeve. And though not without occasional hardship, a real voyage of discovery.