Full title: I Guess Sometimes I Need To Be Reminded Of How Much You Love Me. After a number of limited edition cassettes and vinyl releases, Magnetophone made the move to the influential independent label 4AD for this their debut album. Performed in part on homemade keyboards, the album is a genuinely strange product, mixing elements from early electronics pioneers like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and Jean Michel Jarre (especially his OXYGENE album) with freaked-out, paranoid clattering drums, bursts of heavily distorted guitars, and pretty synth melodies. 4AD.
If you've heard anything by these two maverick keyboard players (Matt Saunders and John Hanson), you'll know that "obvious" is as alien to their artistic dictionaries as "mediocre" or "predictable". Delving deep into the world of machine manipulation, Magnetophone unearth some pretty imaginative sounds and sculpt them into idiosyncratic but highly palatable chunks. Unchained minimal static, fluctuating volumes and musty screens of introspective melody all conjure up whimsical moods that disappear as quickly as they've come, resulting in a sometimes disorientating experience where the listener feels sometimes confidentially engaged and at other times objectively analysed. I Guess Sometimes...
is not overflowing with human warmth but there is a quite addictive feeling that underpins the whole. And while its way of alternating between the enlightening and the unsettling might scare off the casual listener it's an intriguing and rewarding experience for those with the patience and open-mindedness to hear them out. --Paul Sullivan