Newcastle / Manchester duo Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis operate as Warm Digits. They make happy-go-lucky motorik driven electronica with an eye permanently cast to a danceable groove and raising a few wry smiles. This is happy motorik. Imagine the music of Kraftwerk mixed with the good-times-with-mates vibe of Beastie Boys blended with the pure joy of say, a Victoria sponge.
‘Keep Warm’ sets their stall out with a bouncy, chipper beat. Sunrise sparking synths bedazzle, lighting your synapses like a firework display. Whereas most motorik is dark and gloomy, all concrete and underpasses*, Warm Digits cruise through the countryside with the top down. ‘Transpennine Express’ (ha, epic) surges into motion like it’s Kraftwerk namesake propelled with disco percussion and cheeky guitar flicks. ‘Weapons Destruction’ is darker but relentless, careering like a car chase directed by William Friedkin. ‘Grapefuit’ is smeared with cowbell, that cheekiest of instruments. Then they put hand claps on it to make it even more ready to kick a party up a notch. ‘One Track Groove’ has stomping drums, post punk bass and razor-sharp guitar work. ‘A Warm Front, Coming From The North’ is just sublime, hitting all the uplifting emotional centres. ‘Here Come The Warm Digits’ closes with what may be an albatross soaring over the coast out to sea. Thumping drums sends the album off into the glorious sunset, ready to return for further adventures someday…
Warm Digits are best at evoking the sound of that fuzzy nostalgia when you think about once cutting edge technology and our hopes for the future. They remind me of the original BBC Video logo:
See? Warm, fuzzy, nostalgia-for-the-retro-future. “The power of my childhood day” as Beefheart once croaked. This leads me to wonder if this is why the band is called Warm Digits, they simply use electronics in a more intimate, welcoming manner than most of their clinical contemporaries, without becoming a Hovis commercial.
Warm Digits have a template, know their craft inside out and the end product is exemplary. Song after song keeps the quality high throughout and the album is a constant delight.
* see also the review of Interchange, Warm Digits ridiculously wonderful short film / album: