Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Double Shot From Future City Records

With a great stable of artists that is continually growing, Future City Records have fast become one of my favourite labels over the years. The diversity of their talent is one of their stronger characteristics and with two brand new releases this past week, that diversity is certainly being expanded even further.

Peter Robinson - Midnight Prophet

First up is a beautiful new two track EP from the creative imagination of Peter Robinson. His previous EP Theme From Manta Ray (reviewed on Synthetix.FM here) displayed his talent for fabricating gentle and picturesque synth journeys. In his latest release those journeys continue, into new spaces and times.

The titular 'Midnight Prophet' begins the proceedings and the tender melodies begin in earnest, dancing and flickering in beautifully organic way. Sounds are light and breezy, the muted percussion complements these delicately orchestrated synthscapes which entrance and charm. It's this serenely cast palette of aural delight which really personifies the Peter Robinson sound.

The B side to Midnight Prophet is the equally divine 'Lost In A Dream'. Adding some more esoteric progressions and keeping the synths formed from aural gossamer itself allows for a story to be told that brings a vivid surrealism to the elements. I love the way the bassline holds the track together while synth melodies and details form their own imaginative realities, borne from a colourful subconscious and allowed to bend their own identities into fantastical new forms.

This is wonderfully crafted EP which deserves your attention and imagination, let Peter Robinson guide you through his dreams crafted as music soon and often.

PowercuT - Paradise

Even though the soundscape provides a huge differential between PowercuT and Peter Robinson there is a common tie that binds these two releases in that their both cut from the cloth of a hazy dream time, although from a very different place.

PowercuT is a producer whom works in the field of loops and reimaginings of vintage tracks, thereby adding new flavours and personalities to them. One of my favourite artists in the field is Laserdisc Visions, who's work I've been an ardent follower of over the years. The PowercuT style is a different brand of vaporwave however, and makes for a new and exciting listening experience.

The source material drawn from on Paradise is definitely 80s funk and R&B sounds, and it's this source material which makes the PowercuT experience so wondrous. The smooth melodies are taken into a cloud-like dimension where details are smeared into each other, only allowing for specific ideas to be realised whilst the soundscape bends and collapses in upon itself.

This allows for some absolutely mind blowing experiences, such as the incredibly lush 'Morning Swim'. The unintelligible vocal refrain is completely hypnotising in it's repetition and the music seems to coalesce into an innate hook that sparkles through the slow motion haziness. This is exactly the kind of piece I could happily have on repeat for tens of times to fully appreciate it's sublime brilliance.

'Paradise' is full of sax heavy pieces that continually arouse the listener's curiosity with their sensual tones that intimate to moments that are wistfully presented yet felt deeply. PowercuT uses some exceptionally long loops for the vaporwave style and keeps much of their soul intact, rarely erasing their original personality. In doing so all the pieces on Paradise have an immediacy to them which is then manipulated into dreamier states but always remaining true.

The PowercuT sound, and the vaporwave genre in general, may not be for everyone but this EP is a very good introduction to this genre, right down to his retelling of M-Town Vice's 'Fear Of 90s' track. There is something about this style that I really love, and if you're new to this kind of music you could do far worse than to take a trip to Paradise with PowercuT. His grasp of how to make his samples take on new life yet remain wholly relevant is a joy to listen to.

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