Here’s another ‘Long Story Short’ post. This is where I compress a handful of reviews into one post. Why? Well because there’s too much good music and not enough clones of myself to write expansive reviews for each release. So I’m dropping a paragraph each about some albums I think you should put in your brain. Okay? Okay. Here we go.
Video Age : Pleasure Line
Video Age are a band out of New Orleans, LA. They make music that feels soaked in an early 80s brine. Their sound is super electro pop with a heavy dose of earnestness and melancholy. They hit those sad pop vibes perfectly; think Michael McDonald, Billy Joel, and other soft rock luminaries. It’s the kind of vibe I remember feeling in the backseat of my parents Omni Miser in 1981 as my mom drove us into town for some shoe shopping. Cats like Dent May, Mac Demarco, and Chris Cohen get this vibe as well.
Their latest album Pleasure Line locks into the soft rock vibes in a real way. Listen to tracks like “Comic Relief”, “Sweet Marie”, and the woozy synth funk of “Blushing” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Neon signs, parachute pants, and the vibe of El Debarge, Michael Jackson, and Madonna will sink right in.
Sermons By The Devil : The Ruins Of Utopia
I love a good dystopian, apocalyptic electro soundtrack as much as the next guy and Sermons By The Devil seems to have that covered. The latest by the heavy synth electronic project called The Ruins Of Utopia locks into those “world is ending so who cares?” vibes to a tee.
It’s easy to get lost in this album. Even though there’s a certain amount of desolation to the music, there’s also a joy in the creation of it. “The Assassin”, despite it’s title, has a kind of quiet contempation to it. “Choke On The Fire’s Of Hell” is kinetic in its rhythm and doesn’t waste time to grab you by the lapels and drag you along on the journey. “Voodoo Planet” and “Sideslip” are favorites as well.
If you dig cats like Slasher Film Festival Strategy, Pentagram Home Video, and Alone 1980 then I think you’re gonna dig The Ruins Of Utopia.
Andy Fosberry : The Lament Configuration
There’s very few folks that can create mood and vibe as well as Andy Fosberry. Hit up his work and you’ll find everything from symphonic dread and electronic vibes and even folk-ish fear. Fosberry mixes up the organic with the synthetic to create a visceral sound world that isn’t afraid to lull you and kick you in the teeth from one song to the next.
I’ve been pretty obsessed with The Lament Configuration, which according to Fosberry is “Music to tear your soul apart – inspired by the Hellraiser extended universe.” It does that, working in both the classical score world as well as working in some Gothic vibes. It’s a stunning listen that will lock right into the impending fall season.
Pharagonesia : Geocentrics
Here’s an interesting one. Pharagonesia is Nicholas Langley(of the most excellent Third Kind Records) and David Dilliway. Geocentrics is an album that was recorded between 1994 and 2001 and locks into vibes as distinct as Ash Ra Tempel and Cluster, to the more 90s vibes of The Orb, New Order, and Goldie. It sometimes locks into big beats and grooves; while also enveloping the listener in dense and ethereal synth-scapes.
Instead of looking to space for inspiration(which Langley and Dilliway often do in their other project, the space rock-heavy Cosmonauttransfer), Geocentrics is more like the universe gazing at the blue planet we call home and studying it from a galactic point-of-view.
“Waiting For Life To Happen” combines Pink Floyd, Gary Wright, and Klaus Schulze into one orgasmic soundscape. Epic tracks “El Nino” and “Coral” are a sonic storm of electro bliss and heady vibes that work as a kaleidoscope of deep listening and hallucinatory joy.