Public Memory – Wuthering Dream

Album Review by Duncan Harman | 08 Mar 2016
Album title: Wuthering Dream
Artist: Public Memory
Label: Felte Recordings
Release date: 18 Mar

Discombobulation – that’s the effect ERAAS’ Robert Toher, aka Public Memory is aiming for on his solo debut; a suite of dislocated beats sweeping across a canvas of maudlin, minimalistic electronica like car headlights, each vocal fragile, and gossamer (Brooklyn-based, Toher temporarily transplanted himself to LA to record the album; as such, it successfully imparts the tone of chilly displacement).

Which isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty going on beneath the surface; as singles Lunar and Zig Zag demonstrate, the mood is underpinned by arcs of nuanced musicality, from the quirky percussive touches through to each coy Korg inflection. And yet as a proposition, Wuthering Dream all too frequently gets lost in its own subtleties – a channelling of texture that takes precedence over impact and immediacy; with the vocals so insubstantial, it becomes less a statement as a lost photograph, pulled along the sidewalk by the breeze.