[sic] Magazine

Worriedaboutsatan – Crystalline

Worriedaboutsatan – Crystalline

Crystalline is the sixth album from the Bradford-based electronic artist Worriedaboutsatan. However it is only the first since the band contracted to a solo act. Having existed previously as the duo of Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller, Ragsdale left in 2019 to pursue solo interests leaving Miller as the sole carrier the Worriedaboutsatan baton.

The resultant new album still sounds recognizably Worriedaboutsatan, albeit cleaner somehow. Fellow Gizeh alumni, Sophie Green of Her Name Is Calla lends her angelic vocal to parts of this album. The rest is dreamy and instrumental. Like many contemporaries (think port-royal) Mogwai are an obvious touchstone here. Indeed as the album flickers into life on opening piece ‘Open The Door’ there is a clear nod back to stuff like Come On Die Young. This contemplative beginning soon gives way to chilled downtempo. ‘Step Inside’ is the albums longest track gently unfolding for its 7 mins duration; Cool beats are to the fore but the flickering synths in the background strongly suggest that something heavenly is just beyond reach. I might have forgiven Worriedaboutsatan for going loud at the end, erupting into some climactic payoff. Miller avoids this cliche and steps back into reflective mode on ‘Cali’. I’ve seen crystalline compared to n5MD act Lights Out Asia. This makes sense to me as soon as the bass drops on ‘Cali’.

You know you’re enjoying your first listen when you find yourself nudging the volume up.

‘Mirrors’ had me worried for a second. (No pun intended) ‘Would it be one downtempo piece too many?’ I thought as it limbered up. Luckily it too has a subtlety with its twinkly keys. I think the title track is my favourite though. There’s an adolescent naivety to the piece that puts me in mind of Boards Of Canada and epic45 while sounding like neither.

There’s an understated majesty to this album. If Mogwai feared Satan. Miller is merely worried. He’s got you covered. Crystalline has its sights set on the other place.

Crystalline is out now as a limited edition of 200 handmade collectible CD copies. It is packaged in a lovely hand-stamped 127mm x 127mm 280 gsm green cardboard envelope with the front cover image printed on a polaroid style photo paper and an insert sheet containing tracklist and information printed on a 170 gsm light yellow-cream cardboard. It also comes bundled with a download code coupon and a Sound In Silence card.