“The flicker fusion threshold (or flicker fusion rate) is a concept in the psychophysics of vision. It is defined as the frequency at which an intermittent light stimulus appears to be completely steady to the average human observer.”
Flicker Rate is an Instrumental, Guitar based Progressive, Post Rock / Math Rock Solo Project that fuses progressive ambient guitar playing with strong creative melodies and riffs to produce progressive songs that keeps the listener interested throughout due to the cinematic build that each song holds. Spencer Bassett played and recorded all instruments on this record, which was also mixed and mastered by John Bassett from the project Arcade Messiah.
Since then Spencer Bassett has been growing his fan base on social media, finished school and written his second EP ‘Reframe’ Flicker Rate fans have been looking forward to what Spencer Bassett has in store for 2017.
I reviewed Spencer’s first eponymous Flicker Rate EP and had this to say about this talented young man:
“What Spencer has done though is mould it into his own creation and it is something of which he should be very proud. Keep an eye out for Flicker Rate, this is a musical project that is definitely going places.”
He’s an unassuming, affable young man and has always been unfailingly polite whenever I have spoken to him and this is reflected in the meticulous creativity of his music. The opening and title, track Reframe is a wistful, cultured piece of music that brings to mind days of sepia tinged nostalgia. The hazy days of high summer when you had not a care in the world. Let the sun warm your back and the wonderful music wash over you.
There’s more of an edgy tone to Summit with it intricate riffing and stylistic drums. Inventive and intelligent, there’s a questing tone to the insistent beat, one that gets under your skin and won’t let go. Spencer has all the chops and is happy to let us see that but is never pretentious in any way and is also content to ply his own trade and not hang on to the coat tails of his illustrious father. Where John Bassett has become king of the incredibly dense wall of sound, Spencer is a whole lot more subtle and understated in his style. There’s a lovely about-face towards the end of the song where the music takes on a more sombre tone and feel, bringing the ambience low down and laid back and the song closes with an air of mystery and unfinished business.
Spectrum has a real world music, jazzy character from the start, the staccato guitar and drums almost reminding me of Flamenco at times. An uplifting melody but also one that has a serious undertone, a performer who is playing through some unknown pain or tragedy perhaps, it certainly touched a nerve with me in parts. Clever and creative.
The final track on this EP is Airspace, a thoughtful and contemplative piece of music that could have been taken from the soundtrack of a science fiction movie. It may just be me but, at times, I was getting transported back to 1981 and ‘Ghost In The Machine’, released by the legendary The Police. The repeated rhythm of the guitar and the sober, serious deadpan delivery just reminded me of tracks like Spirits In The Material World and Invisible Sun. It is a song that shows the growing maturity of this excellent musician.
Spencer has, once again, exceeded my expectations with his latest Flicker Rate release. Improving on the debut EP but still keeping his signature character, ‘Reframe’ is a composed and self-assured piece of work that showcases his talent brilliantly, we just need more of it!
Released 10th March 2017