“Fuelled by caffeine, nervous energy and early Orbital and Photek, ‘Upstepping’ is an album of newclassical electronic experimentalism where Coates pushes the boundaries of what a cello is capable of. As Coates explains, “About 95 per cent of the sounds are derived from recording the cello and processing it digitally. A hi-hat equivalent is often a distorted, compressed and heavily EQ’d horsehair-on-steel stroke.
All the melodic pitched sounds, even the ones that feel like keys, are samples of the tail of a cello harmonic. For example, ‘Perfect Love’ is a study in grey, concealing the source – it’s 100 per cent made from different types of cello attack.”
The result is an astonishing record rich in the sonic and rhythmic palette of dance and electronic music – with hints of early rave, garage and the sounds of 1980s London pirate radios – and one which re-defines the possibilities of classical instrumentation.”