David Thomas's career trajectory has been an odd one: Minotaur Shock's first album Chiff Chaffs and Willow Warblers was a pleasant and generally well-reviewed foray into the "folktronica" genre. Since then, he has been increasingly weird, self-indulgent, and freewheelingly eclectic. Of course, he has also become much more inventive and skilled as an arranger, but his muse has led him into a stylistic no-man's land that will likely appeal to very few people.
Release Date: Tracklist. Album Rating: 4. He basically rated each song on a list of criteria and came up with a value that he thought it was worth.
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Amateur Dramatics Radiohead For a variety of reasons this record will be released only online, with no physical format. In a somewhat bold move, Edwards has laid bare the reasons for this on his websitewhich are well worth reading.
Dave Edwards is Minotaur Shock, the one-man-band responsible for a couple of well-received albums of warm, slippery, fuzzy electronic sounds. To date, most of Edwards's repertoire is what you would call "interesting". Amateur Dramatics moves the whole kit and kaboodle to a different realm entirely.
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Posted July 7, in Music Reviews. Though some of you may recognise the name Minotaur Shock, I imagine fewer have heard his music, and even less are investing time or money in it. Criminal really, as David Edwards is a rare talent and one that was nurtured early by Melodic records, before making the jump to 4AD — the mecca of independent labels.
To say Amateur Dramaticsthe fourth LP from Minotaur Shock, the electronic mouthpiece of David Edwards, wants you to pay close attention to it classifies as a bit of an understatement. Rather, with its grandiose tangents, meticulous attention to texture and deliberate, pseudo-classical development, this record often seems as though it wants you to sit down with pencil and paper and start taking notes. And while an album that begs a schoolwork analogy might not seem like the most appetizing thing in the world, Amateur Dramatics buoys by a consistently playful air -- a class taught by the wacky, bow-tied science professor cool enough to let you perform the occasional experiment involving a small explosion. While Edwards does seem serious about wanting you to, ideally, sit down and inspect his work through a pair of opera glasses, at least he's good natured about it.
Amateur Dramatics is the second album for 4AD by Bristol's Dave Edwards, following on from 's Maritime, and all that has previously been most charming and creatively successful in Minotaur Shock's universe has only become all the more alluring on this latest effort. It's no new trick to combine electronic beats with an orchestral ensemble, but it's seldom sounded so memorable and well-fashioned as on opener 'Zookeeper', which leads the charge with playful melodies and clattering drums. Over the course of the album, Edwards can switch between predominantly naturalistic, acoustic sounds and entirely synthetic ones, resulting in wildly differing sounds from the beatless keyboard and string swells of 'Two Magpies' to 'Jason Forrest', presumably a tribute to the Artist Formerly Known As Donna Summer.
Minotaur Shock is the alias of David Edwards, a Bristolian who has taken the unusual step of pricing every track on his third album according to such criteria as "technical difficulty" and "extra musicians". It would be a pity not to hear the whole album, however. Entirely instrumental, combining the modern synthetic basslines with the classical cello melodies to create a sweeping mood of turmoil and turbulence, and seriousness of purpose.