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ERIC RANDOM (Buy CDs by this artist)
That's What I Like About Me EP (UK New Hormones) 1981
Earthbound Ghost Need (UK New Hormones) 1982
ERIC RANDOM & THE BEDLAMITES
Time-Splice (UK Doublevision) 1985
Ishmael (UK Fon) 1987

Experimental multi-instrumentalist (and Cabaret Voltaire associate) Random dabbles in a wide variety of styles, hopping around from art-noise to reggae to jazz to non-Western idioms. But instead of merely regurgitating these genres, Random gives them unusual arrangements, adding odd and eerie synths, guitar, percussion, etc.

That's What I Like About Me is a four-track 12-inch whose sound owes much to early Cab Volt; over a cheap little rhythm box and simple bass riffs, Random layers a plethora of synth washes, treated vocals and other assorted sounds. The one live cut shows no loss of sonic capabilities that might be expected from such a techno-noodler.

Time-Splice (on Cab Volt's label) features much cleaner production and sharper playing than on Random's first album, Earthbound Ghost Need (title derived from William Burroughs' Naked Lunch), which includes a version of Ravel's Bolero that would have left Bo Derek in a much different mood. Production, arrangements and styles seem to take priority over songwriting, but Random is a talented artist.

[David Sheridan]