Cursor Miner: Requires Attention
Uncharted Audio

Three albums on from his 2002 Cursor Miner debut album Explosive Piece of Mind, Rob Tubb continues to refine his blissfully twisted sound on the fourth opus Requires Attention. His tracks are severely tripped-out exercises in rave-addled quirk laced with tongue-in-cheek humour—consider the rollicking chant “Minibar,” for example, which sets sail with a voiceover recounting a looney story about a 1965 ocean liner called USS Pencil Sharpener that sank, with its only survivor a minibar that floated for 300 miles until it washed up on an island to be worshipped by natives.

“Reject” (“the ground beneath my feet rejecting me…”) opens the album with Tubb doing his best Jim Morrison imitation and doling out morose lyrics in a brooding murmur while electronics slowly mass into a sweeping wave. Though the album's material is solidly crafted, Tubb stays resolutely true to his warped vision, as viral concoctions such as “The Man With the Transparent Face” attest. Yep, “Mad Cow (Intensively Farmed version)” does, in fact, twist a cowbell into fulminating funky shape and couples it with a convulsive breakbeat throb whose corrosive slam would do any number of electronica artists proud; a similarly lunatic sensibility underscores the aptly titled “Chinese Water Torture.” “The Golem of Bognor Regis” presents a wacky slab of disorienting electropop tomfoolery in the grand Aphex Twin tradition with Tubb's voice electronically treated into a degraded croak and backed by a sleazy electro-blues jaunt. Not that there was any room for doubt but the feverish jungle electro-chant “King is a Killer,” nightmarish incantation “Failed State,” and furious raver “Silicon Savage” prove that Requires Attention is anything but ambient music. Coming as it does after so much intensity, the acoustic folk-blues ballad “For Each Other” makes for an appealing exit. The album's dozen songs largely play without interruption so one is rarely able to get one's bearings before the next storm hits but that's obviously part of Tubb's grand plan for his latest full-frontal collection.

November 2010