Daniel Avery - Song for Alpha
Song for Alpha
Daniel Avery's 2013 debut Drone Logic was heralded in the dance music scene when it came out in 2013. It was bare bones music for the moment, stripped techno and acid house at the tail end of it's influence. This new record however is more refined, slicker and in the end less concerned with creating a dance record and more concerned with creating an atmospheric one. The second track "Stereo L" has this wiggly synthy feel never fully engaging into the dance vibe but hovering around it's periphery. Much of this album feels like it is keeping the experience at an arms length; "Projector" never comes through totally clean so it is almost like oyu are hearing parts of it through the club's bathroom wall. Yet the songs still sound so incredibly good. They create this massive tension, you are begging for some big fucking bass to blow you away but Avery instead guides you right where He wants you to go. You have to take the ride on this album rather than predict what's going to come next. The space is thick with sound and weight, tracks like "TBW17" floating with a haunting vocal almost like an Enya song blasted through a black hole. It's "Sensation" where things really lock in, this sparse dance beat put on the floor while building horns swell and expand filling the entire space. It takes you on an absolute fucking ride dropping you out back with that sparse beat hitting the floor seemingly forever.
By the time some brightness peaks through the club doors "Clear" comes on as something completely different. It is synthy and bright but still manages to maintain this dark club vibe that Avery curates so incredibly well. Avery shows so much restraint, just getting into the pocket and sitting there allowing the music to shift and change around him. The hour run time becomes a full experience taking you places you may have not even thought of going. This album feels almost like JOn Hopkins' Singularity but much more focused on club music. The soundscapey stuff bolsters the vlub vibe, gives you a brief break but that spirit is always at the center of this record's soul. When it comes to albums like this Jamie xx is always my high watermark, there was something about the way He was able to take this music that often feels hollow and make it feel connected. This album does the same thing in a completely different way. Instead of feeling comforted and understood this record allows you to be with yourself, to sway quietly to songs like "Slow Fade" while and dive deep into yourself. Introspection at the club sounds like a joke, but Song for Alpha takes you there. The one thing is the last track at over eight minus long just drones on and on forever, tightening this last track up could really help this out. It is a simply stunning record from top to bottom and one of the best albums this year. Don't sleep.
9.0 out of 10