With winter seemingly just around the corner, what we all need are some Warm Digits. We are not just talking about the need for a good pair of gloves. We are talking about the hottest export from up North in recent years whose music has been descried by Andrew Weatherall as “Machine funk kraut-a-delia”. What does this mean you ask? Well their aptly names new album, “Keep warm…with the Warm Digits” celebrates music from a distant time where music still only saw limitless horizons and endless sonic possibilities. With both halves of the duo, Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis, hailing initially from the North East of England, their music is littered with references to their Trans-Pennine experiences. As we know, this part of the country is known for its intimate and consistently evolving music scene and it from this underground environment that the band emerged.
The duo initially began as a techno-based laptop set up, but their penchant for the lineage of 1970s experimentalism and the likes of Neu!’s hypnotic repetition has seen a 21st Century revival of a sound that has been re-sculpted in accordance with modern vitality. They have remained friends with Sunderland’s Field Music throughout the years, and consequently helped them record the unique ‘One Copy’ in the North West’s Lauriston Gallery. It is an album whose sole copy is owned by the creators as a statement against the free streaming and sharing culture becoming dominant in music, perhaps even threatening its demise.
Alongside Neu!, the duo have named a wide range of artists that have influenced their current sound. With My Bloody Valentine, Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, Chris Corsano, Kraftwerk, Can, Harmonia, Michael Rother, Bob Moog, Emeralds and Drexciya being amongst a much larger list it is easy to see how the band have crafted such a current sound. Aside from their admiration from other artists, Warm Digits have completed remix work for Unkle and Maximo Park and can count BBC Radio 6music’s Marc Riley amongst their fans. I for one will not be missing their performance, as who doesn’t love a good krautophonic blizzard?