Baby Blood (1990)

Baby Blood – otherwise known as The Evil Within – was shown as part of The Horror Channel's World Cinema season.

I do believe that it's the first time I've ever seen a French horror film. I'd quite like to see some more! Infused with a dynamic verve all-too-rare in this genre, I rather hope that Baby Blood is a typical – perhaps even “tame” - example of the French horror genre. If so, I would very much like for some kind of expert to give me a list of suggested viewing, as I feel I'm in for a treat. If not – well – Baby Blood was fantastic.

Particular kudos is to be reserved for The Horror Channel for broadcasting the original uncut French version. I've been reading about the dubbed American version. Whilst it features the voice talents of Gary Oldman, by the sounds of it, the cuts effected were so brutal as to have rendered the film unwatchable. It seems that some scenes were spliced mercilessly; their butchered footage spliced willy-nilly into that which remained; with chronology often completely and inexplicably ignored. Having not seen said version, I have no right to describe it as “a mess” or “a shambles”, but I'm ever so grateful to have viewed Baby Blood as it was intended to be viewed.

The plot involves the beautiful and distant Yanka. She lives with her abusive husband in a small caravan and performs as part of a circus's lion-taming.

The circus receives a delivery of a new leopard, who unexpectedly implodes during the night. This is because it was infected with a slimy snake-like parasite, which proceeds to slither into the uterus of the sleeping Yanka.

Yanka is immediately impregnated by this alien parasite which might well be as old as time itself. Wise and sentient even in the womb, it is later revealed that it is part of the advanced race destined to rule the world in humanities stead some five million years down the line. Indeed, the only thing holding it back is the fact that it's never had a proper birth, meaning that it's never been allowed to properly evolve.

In Yanka, however, it finds the perfect host. She's lonely and vulnerable and therefore in a perfect position to be manipulated to this parasite's own devious ends. It needs human blood to survive. It doesn't take much to convince Yanka to carry out the necessary atrocities to satisfy her parasite's blood-lust.

The result is engrossing and tragic. The violence is so over-the-top as to sometimes appear farcical, yet this somehow never distracts from the film's overall gravitas. Yanka can hear her parasite at all times, and it speaks with a disturbing babyish growl on various aspects of the human condition. The result is a film highly reminiscent of Peter Jackson's early work, except with French political musings in the place of Kiwi humour.

It's always very late at night when I watch these films, so I'm always in quite a hazy and suggestive frame of mind. I don't doubt that Baby Blood might appear comparatively underwhelming on a repeat viewing. However, it's been so long since I've been so impressed by any horror film that I'm more than willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and grant it entry into the pantheon of films that demonstrate how these things should be done.


Critters 4 (1992)

Critters 4. This time, they're in space!

It picks up exactly where Critters 3 left off. That's to say that the closing scene from Critters 3 forms the introduction to Critters 4. Expert Crite-killer Charlie McFadden is about to destroy the final remaining Crite eggs when he's informed that destroying them would be unethical. Crites are now an endangered species and must be protected.

Unfortunately, whilst placing the eggs into stasis, Charlie is accidentally frozen himself. He spends the next few decades floating in space, only to be picked up by a salvage ship in the year 2045.

The crew of this ship are so similar to the inhabitants of the apartment block in Critters 3 that it's almost as though these films are written according to a template. There's the sexy but powerful woman, the grizzly yet caring sort, the absolute bastard (who you just know is going to get chewed to death at some point) and the plucky young scamp.

Critters 3 will possibly never be forgotten because, in that film, Leonardo DiCaprio played the plucky young scamp role. Critters 4 has no such curiosity credentials, so as such will probably only ever be watched by those who love The Horror Channel, those who own box-sets and those who run blogs on which they write at length about every single film they watch.

It's a shame, really. Critters 4 isn't essential viewing by any means. It's not good, it's not bad, and it's not at all “so bad it's good”. It just is. It's fitting that it's set in space, as it sort of just floats by. Along the way, though, there's certainly some fun to be had.

Most of the action takes place in a decrepit space station controlled by an irritating computer called Angela. Angela works on the curious logic that she should simply do the opposite of whatever those who don't have security access might say. So, throughout the film, characters say things like “Angela, don't open the door,” only for said door to slide defiantly open. “Exactly like my ex-wife,” quips one character.

What I liked about Critters 4 is that it's of the “working guy sci-fi” genre. What's “working guy sci-fi”? Well, I just made it up. But consider the astronaut – he's of peak physical and mental fitness and has a haircut to which you could set your watch. He's a maths expert who spends the majority of his day doing sit-ups and the rest of his time eating puréed banana.

My favourite sci-fi, though, send the sort of people into space who you might otherwise have expected to find in a bar with a neon beer sign in the window. They have long hair, a few days worth of stubble and talk with their mouths full. I'm not talking about Armageddon, because that film's ridiculous. I'm talking about Dead Star, Ice Pirates, Silent Running and – if you want a British take on this sub-sub-genre – Red Dwarf.

The main reason I stuck with and – yes – rather enjoyed Critters 4 was that it made me wonder when we might really find such people crewing spaceships.

When will space be democratised? That's just one of the many important questions that Critters 4 dares to ask.


What is the point of a book?

Brooke laughed until she nearly choked. Then she said, the thing is, I can see the point of a joke, and I can see the point of a fact, but what is the point of a book, I mean the kinds that tell stories? If a story isn't a fact, but it is a made-up version of what happened...I mean, what is the point of it? Mr Garth leaned his head on the handlebars. Think how quiet a book is on a shelf, he said, just sitting there, unopened. Then think what happens when you open it.

  • Ali Smith – There but for the

And you're a reader – clearly – here you are reading your book, which is what it was made for. It loves when you look, wakes when you look, and then it listens and then it speaks. It was built to welcome your attention and reciprocate with this: the sound it lifts inside you. It gives you the signs for the shapes of the names of the thoughts in your mouth and in your mind and this is where they sing, here at the point where you both meet.

  • A. L. Kennedy – The Blue Book

When I open them, most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out from between their pages – a special odour of the knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers. Breathing it in, I glance through a few pages before returning each book to its shelf...As I relax on the sofa and gaze around the room a thought hits me: this is exactly the place I've been looking for all my life.

  • Haruki Murakami – Kafka On The Shore


L'anticristo (1974)

The Horror Channel (about which I just won't SHUT UP) are currently having a world cinema season. Every Friday night they're showing a horror film from somewhere that's not the UK or the US.

To promote this season of fine, fine broadcasting, they had an advert which did exactly what adverts are supposed to do: It battered the synapses into submission and made me determined to soak up every single minute of their quality programming in the coming weeks.

OK. So far I've watched one film. It entailed staying up really late, and then not ten minutes ago I find the exact film to be on Youtube in its entirety.

Had I known I could have watched it from the comfort of my own blog I may not have bothered.

But, in the immortal words of Uncle Bryn, there really is something about watching it live, isn't there?

L'anticristo is a bit like an Italian remake of The Exorcist. That's to say that it details the demonic possession of a young woman, only this time everybody's dressed beautifully and more people get naked. Also, there's a strange series of flashbacks to a previous life set during the inquisition threaded through the narrative.

In scope, then, L'anticristo is ostensibly much broader in scope than the film it so clearly wishes to be. On the whole, though, it's let down by some zero budget cut'n'paste effects and a general mood of over-the-top hamminess which serve to pull the wary viewer out of the otherwise nightmarish world so brilliantly realised when the film's on its best behaviour.

Ippolita is "she who becomes possessed". Or does she? She's partially paralysed, sexually frustrated, grieving for her dead mother and suffering through some kind of spiritual crisis. On one level it could be argued that we're not so much witnessing a possession here as a severe nervous breakdown. However, that would be to ignore the spectral hands Ippolita is able to summon from thin air; not to mention her ability to make love across the temporal divide with a goat-headed lover from her past life.

So, yes. If you're interested you can watch L'anticristo in its entirety on Youtube. I've embedded it below for your safety and convenience.

It's worth watching if you've a spare 1:51:50, if only for the pagan woodland orgy scene, in which everyone's painted to look like a corpse. That appears about 40 minutes into proceedings. I warn you, though – it looks utterly ridiculous when taken out of context.


Lawless (2012)

How lovely it was to go and see a film at the pictures that wasn't a superhero film.

I mean, don't get me wrong; whether it's dark and gritty or fun and colourful, I do enjoy a nice muscular heroic romp now and then – and my word, did that last sentence sound gay.

But still. It recently dawned on me that pretty much everything I leave the house to see these days seems to have been released either by Marvel or DC. That's possibly more a testament to the fact that I don't get out much than it is to the lack of imagination at the box office. But still.

How lovely it was to go and see a film at the pictures that wasn't a superhero film.

Lawless initially proclaims itself to be “based on a true story”. In actuality, it's an adaptation of a novelisation of a true story. As such, it's seeped in romantic myth and outlandish legend. And, seeing as said adaptation was effected by Mr. Nick Cave, it also happens to be dripping with blood, booze and cussing.

Can one drip with cuss? I suppose it depends upon the cuss in question. Some words are wetter than others.

Tom Hardy plays Forrest Bondurant – the oldest of three brothers running a moonshinin' and bootleggin' business out in the sticks.

Having survived a lethal strain of flu and a war that was, for so many others, genocidal; the brothers believe themselves to be immortal.

As the film progresses, it's hinted that they just might be onto something there.

Forrest Bondurant is one of those characters – like Scarface, The Joker or The Goblin King - who may yet become an enduring favourite for an entire generation. He's a speech slurrin' high-talkin' gentleman boozer with a heart of gold. Despite the fact that a lot of people are really quite keen to see him die, I found his life to be quite enviable. He lives with his brothers – with whom he's close and friendly – running a quaint café/gas station by day and an exciting booze running business by night.

Plus, his girlfriend is “well fit”.

But this tranquil life on the edge is brought into rude jeopardy with the arrival of Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce, above) – an effete, immaculately dressed yet utterly psychotic deputy from the city. He's been brought into the sticks to enforce them prohibition laws, but he's more than happy to look the other way for pay.

Hence the title of the film. This was a lawless time; in which not even Johnny Law is beyond tarrin' and featherin' a bootlegger who would – about ten years before or after – be considered innocent.

A problem arises when Forest and his brothers refuse to play Rakes's game. Mr. Cave must have had a great time adapting the ensuing standoff. It meant he could paint the screen red with no small amount of his trademark southern-fried ultraviolence.

With the beautiful cinematography; the authentically dusty sets and costumes; the memorable characters and an unexpected yet welcome beating heart of human warmth and humour, there really is rather a lot to love here.

But because I'm a masochist I've been reading the IMDB comments. Of course, there are a few threads screaming the usual “worst film ever” guff. Dip into them and you get inchoate diatribes against the “lazy writing and direction” and the “uninspired performances”.

My initial instinct was to wonder if said people had been watching the same film as me, but then I just sighed with deep resignation.

It seems that people are so used to having their eyes and brains melted by lush CGI splendour that they've forgotten that films don't have to be showy and larger than life to be at all remarkable.

No wonder there are so many superhero films.

No, I don't feel superior. Like I said earlier, I really like superhero films.

But I do wish that wonderful masterpieces like Lawless would stand out only because they're outstanding, and not because they're different to the glut of sequels, remakes and CGI sagas.


Countess Dracula (1971)

Before watching this, I presumed that the plot would be as follows:

"DRACULA! Only this time, he's a woman!"

But no. Countess Dracula is Hammer's take on the horrible tale of Elizabeth Bathory. Seeing as the idea that vampires rejuvenate when they drink blood has its roots in the legends surrounding Bathory, the title is fitting.

Indeed, the scariest moment comes right at the start, when a picture by István Csók depicting Bathory delighting in the awful torture of young women is shown over the opening credits:

I'm not sure if that's a testament to the disturbing visionary powers of Csók or to the slow and meandering pace of Countess Bathory. In any case, though this film is an atmospheric treat for late night viewing, by no means does it do justice to the sickening nature of its subject matter.

But then, I suppose if I wanted a film that did do justice to such subject matter, I'd be watching Hostel 2. I don't have time for that sort of thing, so I've really no idea what I'm complaining about.

As Hammer films go, it's at least outstanding in that it's not set in some incarnation of nineteenth century Britain. Rather, it's set in seventeenth century Hungary; the result being a film that should be visually appealing to those who covet costume and facial hair.

Ingrid Pitt plays the Countess (here renamed Elisabeth Nadasdy). Much to her undying irritation, her vocals were dubbed; which explains the uncanny floaty nature of her performance.

Having been made in 1971, the film is anaemic by today's standards. It's more interested in courtesan intrigue than the mass murder of naked virgins. It's sleepy in tone, far from gripping, but I thought it had a similar sort of fairytale dreaminess as can be found in such cult fare as Valerie & Her Week of Wonders.

But that might just be because I was extremely tired when I watched it.

On DVD, it comes packaged with The Vampire Lovers in the US and with Twins of Evil and Vampire Circus in the UK.

I've not seen any of those, but I imagine that to watch either collection in one sitting would make for an excellent night of back-to-back viewing; even if the resulting few hours proved less than the sum of their parts.


Hungover Moments of Clarity With Information TV & The Landscape Channel

The world can often feel like an awful place; especially when you're watching TV. On one side you have the news: the rapey, murdery, racist blood-soaked report of rape, murder, racism and bloodshed; where even if they're reporting “good news” they'll add some kind of sneering “angle” designed to show-off their journalistic integrity – makes you want to scream so hard you suffocate.

On the other side you have the sort of things which are ostensibly supposed to entertain us. This stuff is either so vapid and anodyne that it turns the very air into dripping wet cement or worse – it's so painfully cynical and out-there and right-on that it comes across as a desperate attempt to suck every ounce of fun out of anything and everything in the world – THEY WILL NOT REST until they've cast their psychotic sideways glances at EVERYTHING – nobody's safe and RESISTANCE IS IMPOSSIBLE – how many schedules each week are dominated by panel after panel of snarky talentless oafs sat there noticing things – shamelessly regurgitating lines from their “uncompromising” routines with insufferable grins on their unforgivable faces?

The world can often feel like an awful place. Watch TV and you're often rubbing your face in the absolute dregs of everything. Sometimes, you need reminding that there's a whole world out there. Nothing works better than fresh air and greenery, but there are days when you cannot bring yourself to leave the house.

And on such days, you can find sanity and salvation on a humble and unassuming little channel called Information TV.

If you're lucky, you tune in just as The Landscape Channel is beginning its broadcast.

The Landscape Channel shows sedate, nearly static footage of landscape set to a soundtrack of low-key instrumental music – ambient, piano-driven, gently gently – most of it's by artists who probably consider said appearance of their work to be the high-point of their career, but you also get the likes of Mark Knopfler showing up to lilt our very souls.

The landscape they show varies. Sometimes they go for the expansive, sometimes the intimate – extreme close-ups of sunflowers and bridge joints. Initially you smirk, but it's quite easy to find yourself drawn-in. And once drawn-in, the loud mean-spirited leering noise from every other channel feels like an unpleasant yet distant memory from a former life. They need not worry you any longer, and you don't ever have to go back. Nobody's going to force you, it's fine.

OK, I appreciate that this show's probably designed to be broadcast in nursing homes. You tune-in, you switch-off. Why ask for anything more?

But as a lifelong migraine-sufferer I understand the importance of switching-off. Everything sometimes gets to be too much to bear. But there's a whole world out there; there's more to life than this and it's OK to yearn for serenity and escape now and then.

Have you ever had one of those intense hangovers that demands that you do everything slowly and quietly for twelve hours or so? Have you ever noticed how strangely melancholy are those days? Entire afternoons spent in darkened rooms – a necessary sacrifice for the hedonism of the previous evening – a day spent just on the right side of the verge of tears.

The Landscape Channel is the television equivalent of that feeling in your chest and between your eyes on days like that.


Information TV - It's Ronke!

What is Ronke? What does Ronke do? How long has Ronke been doing whatever it is Ronke does? Does Ronke have a smell? Does Ronke wear shoes? Are there any Ronke socks?

Is Ronke a noun, a verb or an adjective? Animal, vegetable or mineral?

How does one Ronke? At what time does Ronke take place? Is the sky Ronke, or the sea?

On what sort of diet does a Ronke subsist? Where might one expect to find Ronke growing? What medicinal benefits, if any, does Ronke have?

Ronke lives on Information TV. At the end of a Ronke broadcast, there's a link. Following that link takes you to an Error 404 page. But this Error 404 page is different. It's an apology.

Ronke is the unwelcome guest who's here to stay. Information TV is your host, just as Information TV is Ronke's host. Over dinner, you both hear Ronke stomping about upstairs. Information TV looks at you with despairing eyes and mouths a pained sorry.

Ronke is, apparently, single. Ronke is a Capricorn. How do I know this? Because Ronke has a Myspace page.

From this we can also deduce that Ronke is male. Be that as it may, conducting a Google image search for Ronke will reap pictures of women.

At the time of writing, Ronke is apparently 91 years old. I think it shows.

Ronke has 247 friends.

How does Ronke describe himself?

Ronke is dedicated to bringing you the best short films from around the world. We show everything from festival award-winners to no-budget student films. We offer audiences an exciting mix of drama, comedy, horror, animation and experimental shorts.

I saw Ronke once. In that time, I caught two of these films, both of which I would place in the “no-budget student” category.

The first was an Australian piece called All My Friends Are Getting Married. One man complained to another about itchy hands. The other man suggested that they should get married, so they did. At the end, one of them raised a very good point: The sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer is called I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Yet surely if the action's intended to take place the year following the preceding film, it should be called I Know What You Did The Summer Before Last?

The second film was called Eating Out. Having been to the cinema, a couple went for a meal at a restaurant which could only be described as “swanky”. In the corner a lesbian couple kissed with increasing passion. The man refused to admit that the couple were lesbians, so his girlfriend left him. The dialogue was awful, simply because it came across as obviously having been written. But as a result, it raised another very good point: What the hell do people talk about?

Sandwiched between these films were remarkable idents, presumably made by Ronke himself. These too were of the “no-budget student” category, but my word, were they weird. Come for the films, stay for the idents.

Information on Ronke is scant. Their web presence appears to be trapped in about 2006. But if you've made it this far, surely you agree this this dearth of information only adds to the allure?

Ronke is unique and unprecedented. Where else but Information TV would provide a home for Ronke?

The images in this post are not necessarily representative of the films or idents discussed, but are the sole images pertaining to Ronke I could find anywhere. I got them from Ronke's Myspace. I use them without permission.

If Ronke wants me to take them down, I will do so immediately. But for that to happen, Ronke would first have to contact me.

And how amazing would that be?


Information TV Week - Skimming The Surface Of The Sublime

Even a brief glance at the Information TV schedule should be enough to convince anybody that, sometimes, it really is worth getting out of bed.

To begin with, allow me once more to simply transcribe the description of that which is currently broadcasting at the time of writing.

Actually, this time the title alone should be enough to raise a beatific smile. Click to enlarge:

Look how fantastically matter-of-fact is that synopsis! Two superb uses of the present tense and two superlative deployments of full stops!

Right there, in one simple television listing, you have an example of beautifully elegant English and the recipe for what might well be a bloody good film.

Let us now take a look at the sort of quality programming – past and present – that one might expect to find on Information TV.

Curiously, Information TV refer to the shows that make up their schedule as their “clients”. They couldn't have made it clear that they're doing them – and us – a favour. They're rendering a service for humanity itself.

UK Boating TV – This series reports on “all aspects of leisure boating – inland, coastal and offshore, power and sail. Made by the boating community, for the boating community!"

How To... - Like that old CITV show! A series of programmes designed to show you how to do things. “Combining the knowledge of certified experts to help viewers have a greater understanding of many different topics, these documentaries will be exploring issues that are of interest to the whole family”. 

The Moore Show – This is a chat show presented by one Kevin Moore. I used to know a Kevin Moore. He was lovely. I'm sure it's not the same Kevin Moore, but still. Advertising itself as “an opportunity to see things from a different perspective”, you should see their list of guests: Sir Patrick Moore, Tony Christie, Colin Fry and David Prowse. Something for everyone!

Executive TV - “Working in collaboration to support governmental and organisational-led initiatives that evoke innovation and modern day approaches across industries and sectors.” Even boring people need their own television shows. Kudos to Information TV for bearing this in mind. Kudos!

3rd Eye Paranormal Investigations – At the time of writing, only two episodes of this appear to have been made. It's a paranormal chat show with two guests – one a sceptic, the other a believer. What's going to happen!

ParadigmShift – One for the conspiracy theorists. “ParadigmShift.tv fills the gap left wide open by existing broadcasters by showing pertinent, expertly researched and often explosively revealing documentaries. Its independent perspective on global news enables viewers to make intelligent and informed conclusions about the world in which they live.” You can just picture them, the darlings – sat there making notes, eyes wide with fear.

Brighter in Darkness – Is that a toned torso in the logo? Evidently, this was a show for people who quite liked Twilight. “Toby’s life is turned on its head as he is propelled into Lucas’ dark world of the Vampyre, De-mons, the Supernatural, Dark Goddesses and Ex boyfriends (both human and Undead)!

Lauren Harries – Working 9-5 – This show follows “TV's most controversial celebrity Lauren Harries as we challenge her to five mystery jobs in forty hours.TV's most controversial celebrity? Information TV apparently aren't aware of the existence of Frankie Boyle. Just when I thought I couldn't love them more!

The Book Channel – “The place to be for all book lovers and writers. High quility [sic] programming that book lovers will use as a source of inspiration and information, and authors will want to be on.” Well, I can spot two things with which book lovers might take issue there. The spelling error will in itself raise eyebrows, but the overly confident use of the modal verb “will” to suggest futurity and certainty is what throws me. Still.

I mean, I could go on. No? No.


Introducing Information TV Week!

Freesat might be the best thing that ever happened to me.

It has The Horror Channel, for whom I would be more than happy to act as a brand ambassador. I'd change my name and everything!

You might argue that so long as you've access to The Horror Channel, you're set. And you'd be right, to a point. Basically, all that's missing from their schedule is the news. Of course, there are horror news updates. They're called Horror Bites, and I think they make up something like 56% of their weekly schedule. But in order to ensure that we never, ever have to change the channel, we will, at some point, need real news too.

Real news, as read out by an old man in a vampire costume like in Gremlins 2. He could intonate the day's news in terrifying tones - “We've entered a double dip recessioooooooooon!” - as thunder and lightning sounds behind him. Then there'd never be any need to change the channel.

The weather could be presented by The Creature. Sports by The Mummy.

Limitless potential. And, ironically, the world would appear a lot less gloomy if the news were presented with such hammy gloominess.


But anyway, whilst I thought that The Horror Channel was IT, I recently found something else. Something really quite beautiful.

Information TV.

They show niche programming. Their slogan is “Making It Happen”. Here you'll see exactly the type of thing that you won't see anywhere else.

True, they broadcast a lot of Teleshopping, and a lot of their stuff you would never choose to watch anyway. But it's heart-burstingly wonderful that not only are these shows made – with dedication, passion and very limited resources – but also that they're watched.

I like niche interests.

Hell, I just like interests. I find it painfully endearing that people should be interested in things. Don't you?

This week is Information TV week on my blog. I will be posting various examples of why Information TV is the best thing to happen to humanity since – well, ever.

Information TV truly represents the peak of human endeavour to date. This is because it highlights that there's a whole world out there, and that it takes all-sorts to make it spin.

It's therefore humanity itself contained within a single TV channel.

As a special sneak preview of the sort of tear-jerking joys you can expect from my loving tribute over the coming days, allow me to share a synopsis of the very show that's being broadcast at time of writing.

It's a show called Caravan Finder. Tonight they're showing episode 17 of 26, in which “Graham continues his journey over in France with his caravan.”

Need I say any more? Need I say any more. Graham and his caravan. Aw.

Actually, the caravan community are just one of many fringe communities catered for by Information TV. I even once caught a light-hearted advert which referenced a hitherto unknown rivalry between those who own caravans and those who own motorhomes.

It seems that Information TV had (hoho) tried to cater for both audiences with one show! This obviously lead to a lot of bloodshed and many, many lives lost. The advert in question was a reassurance that, from now on, each community would have their own programmes.


 So. Happy Information TV week, everyone. Stay tuned, and that.


Nathan Fake & Four Tet!

In the space of three hours I've listened to the new Four Tet and the new Nathan Fake.

This isn't a review! Nobody should ever write a review based on their first listen of anything. Think of this instead as an expression of how pleased I am to have such mind-expanding music so readily available.

Since 2006's bright and pastoral Drowning In A Sea of Love, I understand that every subsequent Nathan Fake album has been inching closer and closer to the dancefloor. It's not a journey I've been following – Steam Days is the first album of his I've heard since his debut. But even on the first listen I've been convinced to visit everything he's done in the interim.

The first half is strongly reminiscent of the work of AFX and Autechre. Layer upon layer of clipped percussion and bleepy analogue synths combine to form a sound that's somehow simultaneously cold and warming. It's cold in its mechanical construction, but in the sum of its parts you find such textures that sing of undeniably human emotions. This is the sound of robots struggling to comprehend love.

The floating Rue is the album's centre of gravity. It links the mechanical first half with the more organic and free-flowing second half. All electronic music used to be referred to as “dance music”. This is certainly music to which you can dance, but the songs are structured so amorphously as to sound less like floor-fillers and more like the glorious death rattles of experimental god emulators – like a natural, inexorable process that wasn't meant to be – a beautiful breakdown of order and rigidity – programmes transcending their programming and noticing, for the first time, the sunlight.

It's also been said of Four Tet's recent output that none-too-subtle shufflings are being made towards the dancefloor. Well, yes – the beats are more propulsive and less airy in their unhinged jazziness, but all I can say is that I'd probably go out more if they played this sort of music in clubs.

Pink isn't so much an album as a compilation of recent vinyl releases with two added tracks. However, things flow so beautifully that you wonder whether they were always intended to be taken in as a whole.

I'm sure that endless treasures will be found in the various valleys and vistas formed by these eight compositions, but at the moment I'm drawn to the closing trio. Pyramid is like the best party you've ever been to relocated to a desert plane beneath a stunning starry sky; Peace For Earth is a gorgeous digital canvas of analogue textures which could quite happily span for thrice its 11 minute length. Finally, Pinnacles is very aptly named: it could appear on a hundred albums and be regarded as the outstanding track. I've not been this taken by a single Four Tet composition since Slow Jam on Rounds.

So there you go. No matter what's happening in music, it seems that there's always something exciting going on in electronica. Both albums are available for less than £7 each on Boomkat. Support these digital dreamers so that they may buy congratulatory drinks for one another!