16 Songs, 1 Hour, 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Under the Sun, abstract techno mastermind Mark Pritchard steps off the dance floor and into a free-floating ambient excursion. In place of the almighty beat are acoustic flourishes, musique concrète-style experiments, and synth-driven textures, often assisted with some heavenly voices. “Infrared” is ragged and noisy industrial, while “Falling” finds Pritchard noodling up and down the scale with warped organ tones. But the gems here are folk singer Linda Perhacs’ haunting vocals on the lush “You Wash My Soul,” and “Beautiful People,” on which Thom Yorke is equally gentle and soulful over a lo-fi Latin beat.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Under the Sun, abstract techno mastermind Mark Pritchard steps off the dance floor and into a free-floating ambient excursion. In place of the almighty beat are acoustic flourishes, musique concrète-style experiments, and synth-driven textures, often assisted with some heavenly voices. “Infrared” is ragged and noisy industrial, while “Falling” finds Pritchard noodling up and down the scale with warped organ tones. But the gems here are folk singer Linda Perhacs’ haunting vocals on the lush “You Wash My Soul,” and “Beautiful People,” on which Thom Yorke is equally gentle and soulful over a lo-fi Latin beat.

TITLE TIME
6:03
4:25
2:40
3:16
6:02
3:25
2:36
5:29
4:00
1:27
8:19
5:02
1:34
3:22
3:08
6:30

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5

9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Beautiful and Moving

RhapsodyinStu

By far the best electronic album I've heard all year, this is the fresh stuff I always love. Time to check the back catalog...!

A beautifully, serious piece of music.

Stevie. D

Under The Sun is the first full-length LP by Mark Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard has been making various styles of electronic music for nearly thirty years, and is also considered by many to posses musical ability - far beyond that of almost all contemporaries.
If you haven't yet familiarized yourself with MP's vast expanse of back catalogue, then now is yet another moment in time to come on-in!

There's an old saying, that 'it's the quiet ones, you have to look out for', and not to beat around the bush, but after experiencing Under The Sun, both sonically (and as importantly), by the equally visually - mesmerizing A/V footage by Jonathan Zawada, I feel it's only fair to state that what both have created here, is not just an experience that's worthy of a stellar review, but rather, they've truly found a way to step out into the musical unknown, and I can't relay, properly how happy that makes me feel.
I have to say, though, that I'm envious of UTS, as I lack the musical know-how to present audio to our world in this way, but I do know a rare moment when I hear one, and that's exactly what we have here.

It's not often that a collection of little short stories are offered in a way that truly manage to not only present their individualized intent, but also become greater than the sum of their parts, as combined, they begin to relay a much more important mission.

I love how the album starts with ?'s mysterious, almost 'Also Sprach Zarathrustra', and as in 2001, a journey commences.. and for me, it's a deeply personal one.

MP has been living in Australia for the past decade or more, and UTS reflects a soul's homage to his environment; stark, solitary and beautiful, but equally as alert, playful and cautious.
It's the kind of music that enables you to visualize what you hear; Mr. Zawada, on the other hand allows you to hear what he interoperates - visually.

UTS collaborates with three other like-minded voyagers who share the terrain, and offer their own message as we travel, together.
It's not really relevant here to take this opportunity to 'drop names', but rest assured MP has instinctively chosen perfectly, and you'll understand 'why' this all means as you listen.
I also feel it redundant to go into each track on its own merit, as I'm sure you're hopefully surmising here that UTS is a special journey.

To wrap-up, I mentioned MP's vast back catalogue, and I reiterate here as there's a release by Mark under the guise of Plusha, titled 'Isolation' (with the beautiful voice of Kirsty Hawkshaw), which was released somewhere in the mid-nineties, and the track is probably my most cherished piece of music, but UTS is it's perfect companion.
I never imagined MP would ever release music of equal power to that of Isolation, but he has.

If you love music, and are not afraid to step into our world a little closer, then just close your eyes and let yourself go for a while, I promise you, you'll be glad you did.

Very underrated

HeckHack

Pritchard builds a low-key, flowing environment using select electronics and fantastic guest vocalists. It's really a shame this didn't get too much attention, it's a great album to put on repeat or listen to past midnight.

About Mark Pritchard

Mark Pritchard has released tracks under a multitude of guises while rifling through almost as many electronic music forms. The England-raised, Australia-based producer could be called a dilettante, but the caliber of his collaborators -- including Global Communication partner Tom Middleton -- combined with the reverence accorded to the labels that have released his work, demonstrate that he's a respected and accomplished polyglot. Pritchard's commercial peak came early in his career with a novelty single that placed him in the U.K. Top Ten, as well as on Top of the Pops. He then went about building an exceptionally diverse and remarkably consistent catalog of underground dance music that continued to evolve well into the late 2010s.

In 1991, as one-half of Shaft, Pritchard debuted on an FFRR subsidiary with "Roobarb & Custard." One of several frolicsome hardcore techno tracks to sample the theme of a bygone children's television program while referencing the popular psychoactive drug ecstasy, it peaked the following January at number seven on the U.K. pop chart. The following year, Pritchard debuted his techno-oriented Reload alias on Evolution, a label he co-founded with Middleton (aka E621), who also became a production partner. Pritchard and Middleton's alliance led to ambient and house work as Global Communication, including the landmark 76:14 (1994), as well as varied approaches as the Chameleon (LTJ Bukem-issued drum'n' bass), Link & E621 (physical IDM), Jedi Knights (funky neo-electro), and Secret Ingredients (sample-happy house). Evolution was the label for most of these incarnations and supported early endeavors by Matthew Herbert and Danny Breaks. Another Evolution highlight was Pritchard's sublime deep house track "The Push" (1996), credited to N.Y. Connection.

Pritchard wasn't as active with Middleton during the 2000s and early 2010s, though the duo executed DJ mixes for the Fabric and Back in the Box series. Beside a slew of collaborators, including Antipop Consortium rapper Beans, Opus III vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw, grime renegade Wiley, and Sa-Ra member Om'Mas Keith, Pritchard continually made stylistic diversifications. As Harmonic 33, he and Dave Brinkworth synthesized laid-back hip-hop and library music, while solo vehicle Harmonic 313 was inspired more overtly by Detroit's rap scene as much as his earlier approach was guided by love for the city's techno pioneers. Phat Kat and Elzhi, a pair of close Dilla associates, were featured on the Harmonic 313 Battlestar EP. Another alias during these years was Troubleman, a two-album outlet for nouveau easy listening, hip-hop soul, downtempo house, and broken beat.

Pritchard had used style-specific aliases but eventually opted to use his birth name for the majority of his solo activities. Among these releases were the descriptively titled "Elephant Dub" single for Deep Medi (2010), and a trio of EPs for Warp (2013) that featured vocal contributions from veterans Spikey Tee and Ragga Twins. All the while, Pritchard continued his adventurous, collaborative ways with previous associate Steve Spacek as Africa Hitech. He eventually released a "proper" solo album, Under the Sun (2016), the recording of which was inspired by time spent working with top-tier engineer Phill Brown. Thom Yorke, Linda Perhacs, Bibio, and Beans made guest appearances. Roughly a year after it was released, Pritchard assembled a supplemental set of instrumentals, alternate versions, and previously unreleased tracks, Under the Sun (Expanded, Vol. 1). Pritchard's work with foreboding atmospheres and voices resumed with The Four Worlds (2018), an album previewed with the Gregory Whitehead collaboration "Come Let Us." ~ Andy Kellman

HOMETOWN
Crewkerne, Somerset, England
BORN
1971

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