The Assistant – Ways Of Seeing EP

The Assistant - Ways Of Seeing EP

The Assistant – Ways Of Seeing EP

Necessity has indeed become the mother of invention for the boutique-label-empire of Dom Martin. Increasingly embattled by backlogged pressing plants – due to the double-whammy of Record Store Day and the unstoppable vinyl revival – Martin is putting The Great Pop Supplement label on “an open-ended hiatus” towards the end of 2016 (whilst sister imprint Deep Distance will continue to fight it out). Although this is a sad and grating example of commerce and sheep-like consumerism pushing those once contentedly working on the margins out of the running entirely, it has fired-up more of Martin’s enthusiasm for his high quality lathe-cut-vinyl-led label Polytechnic Youth.

Perversely emboldened by restrictions – both imposed and self-imposed – Polytechnic Youth’s most recent run of super-limited single releases has flung some compelling curios into the ether; in the form of The Home Current’s atmospheric electronica, the mordant Suicide-meets-The Normal primitivism of Middex, the Patti Smith-sampling electro mischief of Diane Cools And The Distortion and the alluring early-Human League-meet-Tubeway Army noire-pop of Mitra Mitra. Now appears another one, in the shape of this fleeting 125-copy 5” vinyl EP from The Assistant.

This first official physical release from this new one-man enterprise – which may or may not be yet another alias for Oliver ‘Dollboy’ Cherer – fully embraces the constraints of a format that only allows for just under two minutes of running time per side. The A-side’s title-track neatly packs together trilling layers of vintage synthesisers, analogue tape loops and satisfyingly antique drum machines, to blissfully re-imagine the late-‘70s/early-‘80s sonic strains of science programmes and The Radiophonic Orchestra’s work for Doctor Who. The flipside squeezes in two even shorter nuggets; namely the domestic found sounds and minimal synth meshing of “Peg Doll Ballet” and the ZX Spectrum-does-early-techno burbling of “Cptn Carrot And The Spider”.

To some more cynical ears this EP might come across as an indulgent home studio muck-about but to those with warm fuzzy nostalgic memories of the era being so expertly evoked, The Assistant’s lateral retro charms are unpretentiously infectious. More soon please…

Polytechnic Youth