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Bumps Per Minute is a full-throttle reinvention of the traditional fairground dodgems, from Mercury Award-shortlisted composer, producer and musician Anna Meredith. The music was part of the DODGE installation, which could be experienced until 22nd August at Somerset House.  

 For Bumps Per Minute, Meredith had collaborated with BAFTA-winning sound artist Nick Ryan to design a bespoke tracking technology so that every thump, bump and swerve of the 18 dodgems around the track can trigger a separate composition. This results in a kind of ultimate shuffle where high octane music and ideas compete for airtime and each performance is unique. The installation occured approximately every hour at DODGE through the day/evening. 

 The idea for Bumps Per Minute came about when the composer was thinking about what might be a more pandemic friendly replacement for the ice rink at Somerset House where she has her studio. The idea grew from there and then the summer DODGE took over the main courtyard at Somerset House, featuring a full smorgasbord of Yinka Ilori designs, DJs, food, drink and of course, dodgem rides.  

 Meredith released a special extended cut of her material via Moshi Moshi on the 15th July 2021. Bumps Per Minute: 18 Studies for Dodgems features full-length individual musical identities of all 18 dodgems – each one a bold and distinct musical track in its own right as well an intro and outro track (voiced by comedian Rob Broderick). 

 The key to both the dodgems themselves and the release is a user ‘driven’ triggering and shuffling of the material. Meredith encourages the listener to ‘take the driving seat’ and jump from one track to another, mirroring the real dodgem ride, shuffling and curating their own listening experience via the virtual interactive dodgems page or their preferred listening platform.  

  Bumps Per Minute: 18 Studies for Dodgems explodes out of the starting gate with Meredith’s uncategorisable sound and signature energy, combining fairground wildness with a healthy dose of the nostalgic electronics of old school gaming.  

  On the composition, Meredith says “I approached writing these 18 tracks like little exercises, making identities that are bold, playful and characterful but without beats, percussion or any acoustic elements and relying on my skills to create melodic and harmonic based energy”. She continues “they’re also less about musical development than my orchestral work or material in my studio albums, these tracks are only themselves and unapologetically so, and that freed me up to unleash some pretty bonkers ideas, knowing it’s about these bold switches – like a sort of musical Whacky Races…” 

Tracklist

A1 START ENGINES 

A2 BPM 100 

A3 BPM 144 

A4 BPM 108 

A5 BPM 178 

A6 BPM 62 

A7 BPM 124 

A8 BPM 112 

A9 BPM 130 

 

B1 BPM 200 

B2 BPM 72 

B3 BPM 104 

B4 BPM 131 

B5 BPM 110 

B6 BPM 109 

B7 BPM 101 

B8 BPM 194 

B9 BPM 155 

B10 BPM 107 

B11 STOP ENGINES 

buy the album + play virtual dodgems