It’s a shame Willie Coleman died on 1 December, having been in full swing for almost 30 years. He was a towering figure in the UK indie scene, making a name for himself as an experimental sound artist. His reputation was built on the experiments of his collective The Alvear, which toured Europe in support of their new album "The Life Of Pablo". The band’s first full-length, 2002’s "The Judgment", was an experimental rumination on the lives of American prisoners of war. But it wasn’t until the band’s fifth album "Last Years Don’t Die", released in 2011, that Coleman made a name for himself as an independent artist.
Almost a decade on from that album’s release, and there’s still a palpable sense that The Alvear are still finding their way. There’s a thrill in "The Life Of Pablo’s" exploration of ’60s Detroit techno, a feeling shared by many of Coleman’s peers. It’s a return to form, one that’s as much about evolving as it is a superb amalgam of their stylistic influences. But "The Life Of Pablo’s" most arresting moments come from Willie Coleman, who lends his voice to almost every track. "The Life Of Pablo" is a record of sobering form, and it’s a record that’s difficult to argue with.