Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Perturbator Becomes The Sexualizer

Perturbator continues to go from strength to strength in his musical creations. Following on from his Nocturne City EP from last year (reviewed here on Synthetix.FM) he's since ventured into providing sounds for the Hotline Miami video game. His tunes on this game's soundtrack has most certainly given Perturbator a much wider audience, and his name has since become synonymous with the synthwave scene as an iconic producer and has lent his talents to numerous releases from other producers over the last six months.

With his latest EP the Perturbator experience has been seriously kicked up a few notches. Perturbator's collaborative works with others have always been spectacular affairs and this has been taken into all new realms of pleasure and engagement throughout Sexualizer's chapters. The progression of his songwriting techniques are undeniable and his use of narrative throughout Sexualizer is stunning to experience.

The plot of Sexualizer delves into the world of Jimmy, a porn star who's drug addictions lead to acts of violence and ends in a collapse of mind and body that brings in ideas of manipulation by higher powers. The story begins at the end with the staggering opening chapter entitled 'Meet Jimmy'

After Jimmy's mental breakdown and institutionalisation the story is retold from broken shores of fractured insanity. Adam McNab of Le Cassette fame provides one of the most wonderful vocal performances I'm yet to hear from this modern age of 80s inspired music. The tortured lyrics soar in a stylistic combination of Tony Hadley and Iva Davies but with the McNab soul reverberating through each syllable. 'Meet Jimmy' is a scenic synthscape into a mind trying to piece things together but the rawness of emotions make each chord's tender nuances actualise with ever greater impact. Sweeping melodies are delicately infused with poignancy that reflects the emotive vocals in deep, limpid pools.

The high energy of the previous high life begins in the second chapter, the title track, 'Sexualizer'. The usual darkness of Perturbator's high energy synth sounds aims at a brighter and more vibrant texture this time round. There is most certainly elements of drama through the action but the crispness of the melodies provide a genuinely uplifting feeling, totally befitting this part of the story. Enlisting the always rockin Flash Arnold on this track has given the scene a salaciously seamy rock-edge which completes this experience in an exemplary manner.

Things move into more of stark panic in track three 'Angel Dust'. The rapid pace of heightened amphetamine madness is pumps with a furious vigour. This chapter moves into dreamlike state midway through that brings to mind much of the what is and isn't reality plot before charging into the opening refrain with renewed energy and purpose.

'Miami Disco' (previously heard on the Hotline Miami soundtrack') is the fourth chapter of Sexualiser and it brings in an all new context to it's existence in this release. Sounds of exotic nightlife and untold sexual pleasures flash in freeze framed moments as reality strobes in and out. The fantasy of Jimmy's life becomes blur of between lucidity and hallucination. Melodies are again uplifting and beautifully arranged while the bassline hints at more sinister elements at play.

The final act of Sexualizer is 'Perverted Precinct' is another collaborative piece with additional synths provided by the ever wonderful Tommy. This final track takes the final breakdown and incarceration of Jimmy to it's penultimate climax. The slow paced syncopated rhythm section allows to the synth leads to take off into new dimensions with brilliant colours contrasting the bleak surrounds. Definitely the most introspective piece on the EP, the music explores more intimate machinations of Jimmy's existence. The underlying tenderness of the man he used to be is contrasted by complete hopelessness of his situation. The man is broken, but a faint memory glimmers through the shimmering synths like a flickering flame that could be snuffed out at any second or conversely set a powder keg to explode.

Throughout the Sexualizer EP the songwriting and attention to detail is what has really struck a key with me. Perturbator's dimensional qualities have multiplied in this release, each track feels massive and full of ideas and energies, but these elements change and develop within each track in a way I've not experienced previously in his other releases. Once again the collaborative works on here are really spectacular. As I've said many times before, the artists who work together with other producers and refine their sounds by learning from each other is what will make for the more enriching experiences in the 80s inspired synth scene, which certainly evident throughout Sexualizer.

The Perturbator sound is still evolving with each new release, where previous experiences were most certainly dark by design, Sexualizer removes that darkness and replaces it with new directions, while still remaining loyal the integrity of this overtly dark story. He has once again proven why he is one of the most exciting producers in the scene and with his new experiments and inspirations it feels like the road ahead of Perturbator is an ever expanding horizon of possibilities.

The Sexualizer EP is presented on Aphasia Records' Bandcamp page here at a name-your-own-price point. These five tracks are all must-have experiences for any devotee of quality 80s synth sounds but 'Meet Jimmy' on it's own is one of the single most beautiful pieces of 80s inspired music created thus far. I can't recommend this release highly enough, just for this one song, but with the other four very impressive experiences also included I'd be remiss to not recommend this marvellous EP as highly as possible as a Synthetix Reference Experience.

1 comment:

  1. I was seriously excited for this release and it did not disappoint. It kind of amazes me how much of an individual style he's managed to craft, while still keeping it fresh and novel each album.
    Also, is it just me, or is he really bad at self promotion? Finding the album on google is actually rather difficult, and not listed on his own Bandcamp page last I checked. You have to go to aphasia's Bandcamp instead.