The Obvious I would sound unutterably pretty even as an instrumental album. But once you factor in a voice whose purity has elicited comparisons to Robert Wyatt, Mark Hollis and Dean Wareham, the effect is something akin to hearing a ghost transmitting from a machine of its own making.Pete Paphides
The Obvious I – the second album from Ed Dowie, is the second new master release from Needle Mythology.
In 2017, Ed released his feted debut album The Uncle Sold, leading The Quietus to hail him as a “bold and starry-eyed visionary” and The Skinny to praise his “beautiful… stolen snapshots of glimpsed futures and lost pasts.” and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction made the record one of their albums of the year.
Now, four years on, Ed is to return with an album that will surely find him new followers alongside longtime fans such as Lauren Laverne, who described its predecessor as an “absolutely extraordinary” achievement.
The Obvious I marks a pronounced evolution from Dowie’s earlier music. Adhering to Kraftwerk’s maxim about achieving the maximum emotional impact by the most minimal means.
The first track taken from the album Robot Joy Army is a synergy of clockwork beats and somnambulant harmonies, which brings the album to a mesmerising conclusion. Somehow it’s a song as apposite to cold war Russia as it is to basement dwellers in overpopulated South Korean conurbations and shift workers at Amazon Fulfilment Centres.