Minor Science Lines Up New Album for Balmat
'Dread the Evening' LP is scheduled for September 8 release.
Absent Friends Vol. III is the third instalment in a series of the same name. And with it, Finlayson pushes forward his vision of ambient music as neither static vista or merely mood-setting atmosphere, but rather a dynamic matrix of textures, sensations, and rhythms.
The first two Absent Friends—a 2014 set for Blowing Up the Workshop and a 2017 cassette and web player for Whities (now AD 93)—were hybrid affairs, part DJ mix and part collage, mostly featuring music made by other people.
Then, in 2020-21, Finlayson developed the project into a live show of his own material. Armed with hundreds of bespoke stems created in his studio—idiosyncratic FX chains, feedback loops through cheap rack gear, heavily post-processed field recordings, and found voices, etc.—he would improvise on four CDJs, mixer, FX, and live synths, extending techniques he learned as a club DJ into a live context, accompanied by visuals by Stockholm-based artist Paul Witherden.
Absent Friends Vol. III is an album of studio versions of the music developed for the live show, where sounds and textures flow seamlessly from one to the next, sometimes seeming to stand still, and sometimes looping back.
“There are virtually no melodies, few recognizable motifs or riffs, yet the eight-track album nevertheless moves with a distinctive logic and a determined sense of purpose,” we’re told.
The album’s underlying themes—reflected in Witherden’s video for lead single “Dread the Evening”—include psychedelia and togetherness.
“Overall I see this record as almost like a photographic negative of the other release I did this year, 064 on AD 93,” says Finlayson.
That EP’s two fiercely peak-time-oriented tracks, “Workahol” and “Casheine,” offer “a response, by way of caricature, to the time scarcity, precarity, and hyper-competitiveness that are features of my life right now (and I think many other people’s too),” he continues. “Absent Friends Vol. III responds to the same situation in a contrasting way. I like that both have a clock on the cover. Both invite you to consider the passage of time. On the club record, time is finite and ticking away fast. On this one, there are little moments where the secondhand seems to pause.
02. Dread the Evening
03. Sun Turn
04. The Dinas Walk
05. Summer Diary
06. Life Texture
08. Gather Your Party (Dispersed Mix)
Dread the Evening LP is scheduled for September 8 release. Meanwhile, you can stream the title-track in full via the player below and pre-order here.