The performing name of Jeremy Simmonds, Voafose is a sampling of many years' work on solo electronic pieces covering a wide variety of ground -- something not too far removed from, say, the Aphex Twin's original Selected Ambient Works 85-92, so it's quite appropriate in ways that this collection appears on Rephlex. But there are deeper roots than that since Voafose has worked with Aphex Twin and various fellow travelers, and at its best the album shows the same sense of sprightly curiosity that has come to define much of the label's output. The liner notes call the 20 tracks "ambient solutions and sonic curiosities," which is as good a way to describe this as anything -- perhaps the closest comparison point might actually be the solo work of Steve Fisk, who shares similar obsessions with random sampling and complete reworking of source material into extremely odd shapes. Perhaps appropriately, there's no sense of flowing sequencing from track to track -- calmer, minimal drones slam up against schizoid howls, solo electronic swirls deep in echo immediately follow near-white noise overload. Some moments are definitely more in the random experiment camp -- "Weather Soc."'s BBC newsman chop-up is amusing but not something unexpected, for instance, while similar vocal reworkings in "Welcomist" and "Maybe a Garden," among others, continue a theme of sorts though without anything utterly remarkable ("Big Ben" is a notable exception thanks to the merry perversion of the famous bell's tones). But there are enough moments to justify giving Voafose at least an initial ear -- the squirrelly nails-on-chalkboard noises of "Splintech," the choppy flow and echo of "Woolard," even some serene beauty with the conclusion of "Watson."
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett