I’m not going to use the C word, but he’s not hiding from it. As much as Danny Hyde is his own man, and Electric Sewer Age is his own creation, there are several tantalising trails and in-jokes and red herrings for the fanatic(al). Some of these traces are obvious: you don’t need to listen too carefully in order to hear bits of “Baby Food” bubbling to the surface, but others feel like more radical re-workings of bits from Black Light District and “First Dark Ride” and… well, you get the picture. You like those, you’ll like these. All through this there are little (en)trails of sound leftover from the ’90s, mixing with the locals and dragging the neighbourhood down. Danny Hyde isn’t them, of course, and no one can be (Lord knows we’ve tried) but he’s been with them and he’s absorbed them and he’s kin.This is meticulous and considered and, in a way, Bad White Corpuscle is Danny Hyde’s purest release yet; the closest I feel we have to where Hyde is coming from, musically. It could have existed at any time between 1994 and now, but in fact exists in its own timeframe, away from other influences (not from other influences). It’s demonstrably ambient, I suppose, but there’s not a chance that Eno’s mitts are over this. Harold Budd would run away, squeaking like a bird. There is nothing here bucolic, unless you live in a very different world to the rest of us. The Hyde from Robert Louis Stevenson could be this Hyde. He’s internalised things he probably wishes he hadn’t. He’s seen some things. Those L.S.D. sessions would have taken their toll. He’s working well with them, attempting to capture the ghosts in the machine and you get the feeling that he’s not done yet – there’s more of this, these spirits are circling endlessly, awaiting new homes. I reckon if you rocked up at Danny’s house he’d be able to play you whole new mutations and some of them would blow your knobs off. Somewhere, there is a monstrous Artificially Intelligent Ableton system data-crushing these fragments into perilous laments. You get the feeling it’s soon to achieve sentience.
I’ve played this slender little release a lot because it’s quite beautiful and it’s a darkness that is easy to slip into. Still, it feels almost reluctant, as if he’s letting his little munkins out in stages, clearly wanting them fly but being careful not to let them get too far away. There’s more to come, there is, there is.