Andy Bell has announced a new release from solo electronic project GLOK. The project’s second album, Pattern Recognition, is being previewed today with the first single ‘Maintain the Machine’.
How is it possible that the man who was the mastermind behind legendary alt-rock shoegazers Ride, the same man who would later be a full-fledged member of Oasis, is only the second most famous Andy Bell in British music? No offence to Erasure singer Andy Bell, who has made some damn good music and is basically a national treasure at this point, but Ride’s Andy Bell is a severely underrated talent whose imprint on Britain’s alternative scene is much bigger than what he ever gets credit for.
GLOK, at least in its initial preview phase, is leaning heavily into a certain “man v. machine” aesthetic. Just on titles alone, you can pretty much ascertain what the project sounds like: heavy on the synths and drum machines, with deadpan and robotic vocals courtesy of Irish deadpan expert Sinead O’Brien. The only human elements are the fluid bass lines played by Primal Scream’s Simone Marie Butler and the occasionally chiming guitar notes played by Bell.
As for the merits of ‘Maintain the Machine’ or GLOK as a whole, I’ll say this: I’m glad to see Bell have an outlet for every kind of artistic impulse. Obviously he can’t do guitar music forever. After all, this is a musician. His Wikipedia article title even says so. He’s got too many inclinations towards different genres to be contained to shoegaze or lad rock or Britpop. GLOK is lesser work from Bell, but it maintains a certain allure because of the man behind the machine. He’s talented enough to make the music worth at least a listen.
Check out the audio for ‘Maintain the Machine’ down below.