sat 21/05/2022

Album: Bed Wetter - A Life in the Day | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Bed Wetter - A Life in the Day

Album: Bed Wetter - A Life in the Day

The producer also known as Man Power gets personal in public on an immersive journey through the emotions

Immersive sound paintings: Bed Wetter's 'A Life in the Day'

A Life in the Day is the second album from Bed Wetter, nom de plume of DJ, producer and experimental artist Geoff Kirkwood.

Perhaps best known for his dancefloor-centred productions under the Man Power moniker, Kirkwood’s thoughtful and committed approach to his art has often seen him venture into uncomfortable territory and work within self-imposed boundaries – from a spell as Artist in Residence for the Sage Opera House and Concert Venue to his music subscription service that promised fans an EP a month for the duration of 2021.

During the UK’s second big lockdown, roughly a year ago, the boundaries and discomfort Kirkwood faced were not of his own making. With his work on a symphony in Covid-related hiatus, and separated from his wife and daughter in horrifying (now thankfully resolved) circumstances, Kirkwood turned to music as a form of release. Written over the course of two weeks A Life in the Day is a 12-song suite of cathartic compositions, each detailing the emotions vying for top billing throughout this difficult time. With titles including “Depression (The Loop)” and “Anger (Hate it Back)”, you’d be forgiven for expecting a difficult listen.

The screaming squall of “Anger” the album’s raging fulcrum aside, however, A Life in the Day is both surprisingly immediate and hugely rewarding. The explicit titles help us to see these pieces for what they are – a series of sound paintings; manifestations of mood. With work as personal as this, there is a danger of it becoming too self-conscious, too performative in its portrayal of pain. Kirkwood skilfully avoids this with relentless musicality, using warm chords and recognisable motifs to offer universal touchpoints that, whether consciously or not, underscore the similarities of human experience.

The result is truly immersive. From the hypnotic rise and fall of “Patience”, to the sonorous, rhythmic pulse of “Nostalgia”, and “Optimism”, in which a synthesised emotional swell grows into a beat-filled behemoth full of joyous abandon, we are pitched into the middle of the storm. It’s a raw and unshowy honesty that defines, but never overwhelms the album. Like a DJ hidden from the dancefloor, Kirkwood dictates the mood without dominating the stage, ensuring our experience of his emotions is as much about Us as Them.

@jahshabby

Like a DJ hidden from the dancefloor, Kirkwood dictates the mood without dominating the stage

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters