Minimal Disturbance Factor - Accidental Blackspot

Accidental Blackspot



Voices Through The Midday Showers

Portrait Of A Dying Seagull

Without Eyes

The Clouds Fell From The Sky This Morning At 7am (But The Birds They Still Sang)

When The Night Falls

Take A Step Closer To The Edge

Minimal Disturbance Factor's third album 'Accidental Blackspot' was created between January and December 2005.

Every sound on the album was sampled or played by Alastair Black at home in Edinburgh or on location in Rhu, Jura, Edinburgh and Quebec City. All words and voices are by Alastair Black with additional voices on 'Voices Through The Midday Showers' by Catherine Marois. All tracks were edited and produced by Alastair Black.

Listen to the full album right here, or head on over to the Internet Archive to download it for free.

"Don’t be fooled by the early arrival of this follow-up to CCC – it’s not an ugly stitching of second-rate scraps rolled out for the Christmas stocking. Right from the masterfully subtle restraint of the album’s sparse intro it’s clear that Accidental Blackspot has been carefully simmered and lovingly stirred.

What’s also in evidence is that MDF has evolved. Gone are the aural blitzkrieg of A Cat Trying To Escape…and the cauldron of mayhem that was Pharmaceutical Nightmare. Even the rhythmic thumps that propelled An Icy Breeze…have been sacrificed. Instead we have the surprise addition of early (Naked) and late (When The Night Falls) vocals – the standout tracks for this reason alone and potential singles if MDF were that kind of artist.

Electronica composers have been toying with vocals for years now, but, listening to a Bent or Air album, it’s easy to forget there is actual human flesh and spirit behind the words: the samples are warm and soulful but vacuous. Here the lyrics have stand-alone meaning and artistry: the pieces come across as an acoustic singer-songwriter dabbling with electronics, rather than an electronic piece topped with complementary vocals. And of course, that’s the intention: what we have is as close as you can get to electronica ‘unplugged’. Comparisons are hard to find.

The rest of the album is a beat-less soundscape of tinkering gothic piano, melodic drones and fluttering samples. And while it’s clear that MDF is still actively trying to avoid being filed under any particular genre/sub-genre, it’s all steeped in the ambient tradition of Eno and peers (albeit without the boring bits). Not all of it’s cosy listening of course. As usual, darkness and uncertainty creep in, keeping the listener on edge.

Your only nagging doubt might be ‘deciding’ whether the vocal tracks meld with the meat of the album. Ultimately, however, the tracks themselves are so strong and perfectly placed that they complement rather than detract the album as a whole. And while previous albums were sportier, the melodies are still here, along with evidence of increased control and refinement, making Accidental Blackspot MDF’s most mature effort to date. It’s the right length too, down to the last second. Stewed to perfection."

Daniel Kirby

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Last updated : 18/07/15