“Nutrition On Tape‘s music is a jabbering, eddying salute to the last 30 years’ pop music. Songs waft in through the window and tickle your ears: tomorrow today. Clever, bright and alive.”
"Electronic music has an odd tendency for pointless pseudonyms - Nightmares on Wax, Dope on Plastic, Boards of Canada - and a tendency to take itself a little too seriously. Nutrition On Tape is the work of Matt Howley, a Londoner who lists some of his influences as The Cure, Gorillaz and Caribou. None of these if truth be told are very prominent here, but the absence of doomy goth-core, manga hip-hop or Beach Byrds veneration is something we can probably live without, and Queen Bee reveals Howley to be anything other than one of the genre's aggoraphobic laptop dilettantes.
Let's start then with Queen Bee's title track, it being a gorgeous ice cream sundae and chips burble, complete with a lovingly gentle guitar loop, wistful piano swatches and a soulful, discombobulated harmony or three. It's mood of gentility is correlated by everything else here, although opener One Sun One ruffles about in slightly more traditional electronican territory, the rhythms whirring robotically like Plaid on a good day. The other two quarters - Fire Dog Wax Apple and closer Where Everything Works - are a little more closely in sonic terms related to two of Howley's other acknowledged influences (Lemon Jelly and DJ Shadow respectively), although both retain the summery, onshore breeze feeling of the British countryside, a mood propagated by - amongst other devices - cyber-flutes and a stubby bass riff.
Many would have you believe that the only future this kind of music has in in the hands of the doomy, urbanised shades-of-grey that is dubstep; for those like Matt Howley, there are however flowers growing beneath the concrete."
Rich Pickings, www.arcticreviews.co.uk
released 07 January 2009