Ross from Friends - Family Portrait

Ross from Friends
Family Portrait

I've avoid the UK producer Ross from Friends almost exclusively because of his name. I hate it, it's stupid and gimmicky beyond belief. This I am now learning however was a grave error, because this album really cooks. Ross from Friends experiments with textures, beats and layers creating dance tracks that are varied and evocative of the past that Ross from Friends likes to hold on to. His music feels like He is touching on the hallmarks of dance music eras, having not been able to participate because they happened before his time. Often music from this standpoint can feel like it's trying to hard to hold on or re-create something from the past but you don't get that sense here at all. John Hopkins' Singularity and DJ Koze's Knock Knock were similar records to this, but the vibe Ross from Friends creates is much more atmospheric and concerned with dance. The other two producers wanted to create rich electronic environments using the language of dance music, but Ross from Friends is trying to do something really interesting with dance in his own right. Songs like "wear Me Down" have this tribal aspect to them but a very 2018 kind of tribe, slick electronic production over an affected distant female vocal. This record pulls you in to it's world and then wraps you up once you are there allowing you to experience something new and wild.

On "Back Into Space" Ross from Friends uses these staticy media drops seemingly from TV and movies,. but they really suck you out of the vibe He'd been creating thus far. The best part of this record is it's lack of gimmicky shit and it's at this point that He loses that ideal somewhat. ON this album Ross from Friends was clearly being strapped with the goofy lo-fi house moniker and decided to really push the boundaries and it totally works. You find yourself constantly buying in, constantly waiting to see where this thing takes you next. It really gets me excited for what this live show is going to bring to the table. The in and out skittering electronics of "R.A.T.S." is wild and freeing. At 53 minutes it is a lot of music but it truly sails by with all this interesting stuff going on. You keep waiting for Ross from Friends to throw a road block in his way, or get to cute for his own good, but that never happens here and instead we are left with a slick album that really takes itself seriously. Damn good stuff here from Ross, let's hope He keeps up[ the momentum of this debut long into his career.

8.6 out of 10


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