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Minotaur Shock

Bristolian multi-instrumentalist and producer David Edwards, best known as Minotaur Shock, makes melodic, playful electronic music inspired by the more eccentric aspects of folk, progressive rock, and dance music. His early releases, including 2001 debut full-length Chiff-Chaffs & Willow Warblers, reflected the move from the colder, harder-edged IDM of the '90s to the softer, more organic style of the early 2000s. His 4AD-issued album Maritime (2005) reflected his love of the seaside and sleek '80s pop like Steely Dan and Hall & Oates, while 2012's Orchard, blending live and programmed instrumentation, was influenced by library music and artists such as Mike Oldfield and Kevin Ayers. Edwards later explored a purely electronic, often techno-influenced direction with subsequent releases such as 2021's Qi EP. David Edwards began making music in the late 1990s, using borrowed equipment. His debut EP, 2000's Bagatelle, was one of the first releases on the Manchester-based indie electronic imprint Melodic. Motoring Britain and its remix EP appeared in early 2001, and debut full-length Chiff-Chaffs & Willow Warblers arrived later in the year. Edwards additionally played drums in the group Bronze Age Fox, who released a couple of tracks on the XL-affiliated Rex Records in 2001, including a cover of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" on the tribute album If I Was Prince. After the release of Minotaur Shock's Rockpoolin' EP in 2002, Edwards concentrated on Bronze Age Fox for a while, releasing the 2003 EP The Sunshine Made the Desert and a few limited lathe-cut singles, compiling their work on an untitled 2004 CD. 2003's Rinse similarly collected tracks from Minotaur Shock's early EPs. Following remixes for indie acts such as His Name Is Alive, Badly Drawn Boy, Bloc Party, and Mojave 3, Minotaur Shock signed to 4AD and released the Vigo Bay EP, which preceded the Maritime full-length. Sporting a more organic, melodic sound than earlier Minotaur Shock releases while still incorporating electronic glitches, the album was followed by an additional EP titled Muesli. Edwards released two joyous techno singles as Principal Participant in 2007, then Minotaur Shock returned with Amateur Dramatics, which the artist described as a darker, more personal effort than his previous work. Featuring a track named after Jason Forrest, Amateur Dramatics was digitally released by 4AD in August 2008, and Audio Dregs subsequently issued a CD edition with two bonus tracks. Principal Participant released a digital full-length, Principles, in 2010, and Minotaur Shock returned to its original home, Melodic, with 2012's Orchard. The album was the project's first to feature parts tracked live in a studio, in addition to remotely recorded flutes and clarinets by Emily Edwards and violins by James Underwood. Principal Participant's second album, Particles, appeared in 2013. In 2014, Minotaur Shock released Music from The Noise, the soundtrack to a theater production by Unlimited. The experimental techno EP Nucleic Acid Analysis 5 was issued under the pseudonym Oligos in 2018. Composed with hardly any acoustic instruments, Minotaur Shock's synth-focused fifth full-length, MINO, appeared in 2019. Salina Pulse Streams, inspired by a trip to the island of Salina, was released in 2020, and the EP Qi, recorded live in one or two takes on an Electron Digitone, arrived in 2021.
© Paul Simpson & Heather Phares /TiVo
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Discography

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