Review of Many Simple Systems CD from

Paul Patterson
16th October, 2004

Having followed Phasic’s previous on-line releases I have been eagerly awaiting this, his (Paul Ripley’s) first full-length collection of tracks to date. ‘Many Simple Systems’ is something rather unique, it’s refreshing, dynamic and offers lush washes of clarity to a genre that has at times seemed lossed in its own development.

Album opener ‘Indigo’ captures the listener’s attention from the off, it floats along with a certain style and presence, while proving to be both mesmerising and calming. Tracks like the truly beautiful ‘Jibbon Point’ give us the last fleeting glances of the summer as it passes us by, while the well worked pastoral textures of ‘Observatories (d1g1b34tmx)’ prove both complex and elegant.

Each track stands out as a cinematic journey to (as Boards of Canada do so well) the part of the brain that is reserved for our earliest child like memories and experiences. ‘Radio Bubble’ does this so well, it’s a truly masterful piece of work, frantic in its approach and seemingly an electronic instrumental love song to end a lifetime to.

With well worked samples interspaced between evocative melodies and attention grabbing loops, often with a hint of hip-hop. This album calm’s the senses while making you sit up and listen.

Within a great deal of electronic music of late, there has seemed a certain essence of staleness, a nagging feeling that maybe musically trends are simply playing around on the conveyor belt of tweaking and re-packaging. ‘Many Simple Systems’ though proves that there are artists out there genuinely willing to stand up and be counted. So that’s 1, 2....


Review of Many Simple Systems CD from

Stefan Koopmanschap
31st October, 2004

Phasic is the project of UK-based artist Paul Ripley. After hearing this album, I'd like to refer to him as 'The Talented Mr Ripley', as he clearly has a talent for creating highly enjoyable pieces of music.

Truth be said, some of the music isn't the best example of a very original sound. There are quite some references to, for instance, Boards of Canada, in the music Ripley presents on this album. I must say though, that I am not annoyed at this even a little. I've heard a lot of Boards of Canada ripoffs since they've become quite popular, but Phasic is more than a simple rip off. Sometimes very similar in sound, but it has something to it that makes me just appreciate the music as it is.

And I must clear this up. Definately not everything is similar to other artists. The first track, Indigo just really really reminds me of the famous duo on Warp Records, and starting an album with such a track resembling another artist might put off a lot of people in listening to the whole album.

And so I recommend everyone who gets this album to listen beyond the first track. There are some jewels on this album. Take, for instance, Disconnected. Beautiful downtempo music to dream away to. Observatories (d1g1b34tmx) is another good example. Beautiful melodies, great rhythms. Fragile and beautiful.

Yes, parallels can definately be made to other artists, especially to Boards of Canada. But not in a way that it gets annoying. Many Simple Systems is a solid album, an album that is really nice to listen to. Definately recommended.

selected comments on the track Nova4 from EM411 forum

"this is damn fine -- honest and brilliant"
" like this a lot. it certainly sounds like IDM with emotion behind it; which is what I like (rather than noise for the sake of noise). I like that it grooves very well but varies enough to keep you interested"
"really really beautiful. thanks. I will definately play this on my radio show tonight"
I dig the melodies and the sparse bass
The general structure is nice, coherent yet surprising
I listened to it several times and it's like, er, a painting, with all the little details everywhere, especially in the quiet part in the middle.
A great work indeed"
read the rest here

comments on Irukandji from
"Understated and absolutely my cup of tea. Swirling ambience plus a lovely bassline nailed down by some wicked beats and fx. I love that slo-o-o-o-o-w bit, that was top drawer. Experimental and trippy but still very accessable. "
"There is a lot going on in "Irukandji". The expanding palette of sounds starts from the very synthetic and runs through some almost disturbingly organinc noises. The tempo is slow and sinuous allowing a nice buildup. Great synth sounds predominate and what appear to be totally warped and abused audio samples are also audible. Phasic has done an impressive job of bringing it all together into a unified and completely melodic whole. I liked the variety, as sonic variations and mutations crept in. The only slight downside is the truly abstract nature of the piece. That I suppose is the price to be paid for creating something truly expansive. "

Future Music Magazine (, FM149 June 2004 

I sent FM my old demo late last year, and they selected one of the tracks (Plan B) from it to go on the cover CD of the magazine. Here is what they say about it :

"For this demo we have actually chosen track four from the original selection as it's got much more of an interesting twist to it. This is quite an unusual demo as unlike so many we get this is a programmed track that is emulating a rock/nu metal band. It's got all the expected metal guitar riffage, pulsating bass and flailing drums, but all of it's not quite as you would expect because as far as we can tell everything has been programmed. On closer inspection you realise that the metal guitar is in fact a well programmed synth, the giveaway being the great pitch bend and the end of the main riff sections. The drums have a really great feel to them with a lot of natural variation whilst still maintaining a good solid groove. Paul has programmed nice use of rides and toms to keep the the expression level high on the drums and when this is combined with the solid looping bassline it makes for a very strong rhythm section."

Apell -, 2004 :

"This is cool stuff! Great sounds and drum editing and a really tight mix. Similar at times to a downtempo Squarepusher......"