Manchester-based electronic producer Andy Stott returns with his first album since 2019. If you’re heard Stott before, then you know what to expect – moody, expansive electronic music in a similar vein to Burial, Forest Swords and Nicolas Jaar. Never The Right Time is Stott’s fifth album, and like each of his previous outings it finds him elevating his sound to new heights.
As expected, the album as a whole unwinds at a slow, methodical pace. “Away Not Gone,” the first of five tracks featuring guest vocalist and longtime collaborator Alison Skidmore, eases you into the experience, a meditative ambient tune backed by gentle guitar and synth melodies. From here, things progress quickly, veering into bass heavy post-dubstep with “Never The Right Time,” followed by the “Repetitive Strain,” a techno number driven by 808 bass and a flute sample that sounds straight out of Pirates of the Carribean but is also quite bangin’.
The rest of the album unfurls in a similar fashion, uniting electronic sub-genres into a cohesive, atmospheric whole. The album’s crown jewels are the standout tracks featuring Skidmore’s angelic vocal talents; “Don’t Know How” is another brooding, staticky post-dubstep track accentuated by warped vocals and bright pads and “The beginning” is an absolutely sublime piece of dark synth pop propelled by skittering, hard drums and warm synths. Closing track “Hard To Tell” (also the album’s lead single) is similarly driven by shimmering synths, another lusciously slow-builder that perfectly bookends a compelling listening experience.
With Never The Right Time, Stott has crafted an album that’s both nostalgic and forward-thinking, conjuring similar vibes to seminal post-dubstep works released in the mid 2000s while incorporating neon pop sensibilities that make it more accessible than his previous work. As a whole, it’s headphone music at it’s finest, an album that’s best appreciated as a whole and that demands repeat listens. It’s surely one I’ll be coming back to for some time.