Fatty Acid can't be bothered with formal chord progressions or proper harmonies. With value placed on the texture of sound rather than the harmonic movement of each piece, the tracks off of the self-titled debut were written based on the "sound as such." Jon Sheldrick, the man behind the operation, is the Bob Ross to this impeccably painted sonic landscape placing the listener atop one of its happy little trees, burgeoning from specks on a canvas to a fully developed fern, swaying in the imagined winds of a textured, colorful environment. And environment is entirely what the music is about.
With a deep focus on creating music that is sonically distinct and in the spirit of the sound as such, Sheldrick utilizes the recording process itself as a composition tool toying with digital and analog synthesizers, computer editing software, as well as live instruments to create what some might call electro-acoustic music. Sheldrick himself handles the guitar, synthesizers and drum programming as well as lends his classically trained voice to the mix. When he needs something extra, he enlists various musician friends, building off of the spontaneity of their playing and using unexpected sounds as inspiration for additional parts or future songs.
Musically, Fatty Acid draws its influence from the acid house and breakbeat artists of the 90's, notably Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, as well as the electronic composers of the early 20th century such as Milton Babbit, Stockhausen, and the french tape-music movement known as Musique Concrète. But it's the synthesizer itself that serves as inspiration for many of the songs. Using his own modular synthesizer, Sheldrick often discovers stimulating noises and textures, beginnings or layers of new pieces, simply by twiddling knobs.
None of the songs off of Fatty Acid were composed before they were recorded, but rather assembled by putting down lines upon lines of different instruments and effects. By finding random qualities in various songs and using a sampler to trigger seemingly unrelated samples which eventually line up and harmonize, he is able to develop a unique sonic environment. What amounts is an effortless marriage of the ethereal and electronic, undulating soundscapes draped atop twittering rhythms and melodic backdrops, building and breaking ever so gracefully. Between the lilting pulse of "Fast Break" to the stripped down, stunning "Breathe You In," Sheldrick's extensive and versatile chops shine, leaving the listener with the refreshing reassurance that accidents are beautiful.