Try to pretend you don’t know that Instruments of Science & Technology is an instrumental side project by singer-songwriter Richard Swift. That way you might be less disappointed that Swift trades the sophisticated Tin Pan Alley songcraft of his solo records for ambient electronic bloops, spurts and thumps on Music from the Films of R/Swift.
Rock history is pockmarked with indulgent one-off albums, so it’s a minor miracle that Swift nails the Motorik drive of “INST” and siphons a darkly sexual Massive Attack vibe from “Shooting a Rhino Between the Shoulders” without coming off as a dilettante. Divorced from the visuals that originally accompanied its twelve tracks, though, Music from the Films of R/Swift feels like a collection of electronic curios, more relevant to Swift completists than Kraftwerk and Wendy Carlos lovers.
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