Sophomore shizzle from Geoff Kirkwood, aka Man Power`s more “serious”, more “experimental” Bed Wetter alias finds the dance music dynamo – the Me Me Me and Us & Them head-honcho – documenting the rollercoastering emotions of COVID lockdown with a 12 “song” suite. Not that Geoff’s singing of course.
The only vocals to appear take the shape of sampled dialogue – a psychotherapy Q&A undertaken with a paranoid patient, someone sadly clearly unwell, and the tangled outpourings of various other troubled souls. These collaged interrogations unveiling covert confessions, whispered secrets, tragically, thinly masked suicidal feelings, that echo and articulate the auteur`s own mounting anxieties, above beatless synthscapes of bold, growling, bass vibrations.
The track titles delineate the phases that Geoff travelled through, coming to terms with his own complicated, isolated situation – separated from his loved ones under nightmarish circumstances. A journey that starts with Denial, described by synthetic, symphonic drones, which set a scene of hurting. Paint a tough handling of pain, tempered by a hope that it will pass. Overdubbed organs outline Calm, a period of preparation, hardening, for the ordeal ahead. Tones fluttering, feather, flute-like.
Gratitude bears the kind of keys that give machined Detroit gear a jazzy edge. Ambient in the 313 meeting healing West Coast new age. Patience is portrayed as a long dark tunnel. Nostalgia, filled with the ghosts of dancing, pre-acid house, 303s. All the while there`s a sense of our protagonist fighting enervating ennui – questioning the purpose of every artistic action, now that they’re the equivalent of a tree falling in a forest.
Confusion comes with sound design similar to Mica Levi`s award-nominated alien, animal, themes for Jonathan Glazer`s Under The Skin. Conjuring the coarse crackle of flame, the scratching of an agonizing itch, as cabin fever, and insanity creep in. Amidst distortion and feedback, raw and wracked, a speeding spool of tape spins, like dark reeling thoughts, making subliminal, demonic, suggestions. Frustration is focused into creativity. Anger, and worry, into energy.
Resolve rides on slinky, sinister, sexy, but menacing beats – a devilish trance dancer for blade runners, and terminators – like a finely tooled dystopian sci-fi movie score. Is there any other kind of sci-fi any more? Is the only cinematic future we have apocalyptic? Is part of that down to a desire to wipe the slate clean and start again? Optimism’s synths soar in bright techno arcs above a robotic tribal heartbeat. Acceptance is a tintinnabulation of tired, exhausted chimes.
The diary of a mind confined and cracking up – with good fucking reason – A Day In The Life is a soundtrack of solo days, and sleepless nights – one man attempting not to lose his shit, and instead channel considerable crisis into art.
Bed Wetter`s A Life In A Day is released today, on Me Me Me.