Originally the solo project of British electronic musician Andrew David Daly, The Impossible Flower began operating as a duo with the addition of Gareth Dickson in 2004. Produced and recorded as a solo effort by Andrew Daly, "Anthophobia" was released as a sort of delayed 'companion' to "Roots and Fruits," a collection of material recorded five years before when The Impossible Flower was still a solo project.
Presented as a CD-R limited edition of 100 copies, "Anthophobia" is one of those releases that is very likely to slip under the radar, and undeservedly so. In nine tracks spanning a bit over 50 minutes, Andrew Daly presents a collection of nine masterful tracks, each of which can be loosely described as a playful and optimistic hybrid of IDM and breakcore/drill'n'bass.
From the melodic opening of "Flip Flop" to the simple rhythms and bells of "The Girl On Mount Florida", through the excellent and manic "Electro Mummykins" (a track easily comparable to some of Squarepusher's album "Hello Everything") and more downtempo tracks like "My Tide", Andrew Daly takes the listener on a hectic, but nevertheless very enjoyable and, on occasion, relaxing aural journey.
With its crystal clear sound there is a feeling that nothing was left to chance; each complex composition is studied down to the last minor detail from beginning to end, and here lies what is perhaps the major drawback of "Anthophobia." With each track a gem of complexity it is easy for the listener to find himself lost from time to time as attention drifts between different elements of a track or away from it, and this detracts from the overall effect of the album.
In fact, the tracks that comprise "Anthophobia" are perhaps better enjoyed separately rather than as a whole album, something that might have been avoided with the inclusion of a few less complex-sounding pieces to act as 'spacers.' Despite its drawbacks, "Anthophobia" is a very good release and an excellent introduction to The Impossible Flower. Perhaps not a masterpiece - though it includes quite a few tracks that can be described as such - but 'another' fine electronic release surely worthy of checking out, both by fans of acts such as the aforementioned Squarepusher and the casual listener. (8/10)
[Miguel de Sousa]