FLOWCHART – Flutter By Butterfly

For a while there, childhood was the last frontier. The clumsy-beautiful melodies and quaint analog dreams of kinder-techno starlets Boards of Canada and Plone turned dance music into a playpen. These bands imagined childhood as a landscape every bit as exotic as 50s Hawaii or the 60s Moon, and one quite as crammed with carefree sweetness and crushing poignancy. I never quite trusted them and their slightly cloying take on infancy. Their childhoods may have been swimmily spent in hallucinatory bowers, but it fell to a band like Daphne And Celeste to capture the real, cruel rhythm of the playgrounds I remembered.

But Flowchart’s 1998 single is the prettiest thing I’ve heard in weeks, and on first spin it fits squarely into that whole naive tradition.It has children’s voices, bright-eyed one-finger melodies, and the production makes it sound as sharp and unreal as Christmas morning. But it’s got something else, too, some trace memory perhaps of when electronic music meant dancing and release. And so “Flutter By Butterfly” builds and peaks like it had a fieldful of faces to entertain. It sounds like “Smokebelch 2” played on a toy radio, or a nursery “Little Fluffy Clouds”. That obvious, that ravishing.