By Kenny Fowler
Astrolope is a busy artist. Between frequent collaborations with other artists on the Plutoid label, and being a part of crazy lineups all of Toronto (his recent show for the release of this new album Sour Dream featured an Nintendo 64 in the corner of the room for anyone to play) he also created a solid soundscape of digital bliss. Sour Dream is a prime example of a young talent stretching his creative muscles and seeing exactly what he can do, and really hitting his stride.
(Source: Astrolope Official Facebook Page)
The album opens with “Codelove”, the lead single, which eases the listener into a blippy dance of gentle tones before shifting into a full blown, high energy dance track at its crescendo, setting the stage for the range of experiences ahead. “Blimp” settles into a more chilled out space with classical tones of viola and percussion riding over the noisy digital stamp, which rides straight into the valley of “Hush”, where Eric Seguin’s voice echoes off the walls while a steady beat drives you through.
One of the standout tracks for me, in both name and sound, is “The Ballad of Jeremy the Albino Cyborg Whale from Outer Space”. While seemingly absurd, the glitchy beat that Astrolope employs kept my head nodding through the entire track and made me immediately go back to listen to it again. I also really appreciate how “Oceanfloor”, “Forestceiling”, and “Polyflower” all feel like one large song in three parts, without feeling overbearing or too self-indulgent. If there was anything I wish I could have more of with this release, I would want more vocal collaborations, as Sequin and Sea Beau are amazing voices that complement the music spectacularly. Bring them back on future releases!
(Sour Dream Album Cover; Source: Astrolope Official Facebook Page)
Astrolope has presented a solid electronic album with Sour Dream. From album start to close, he encourages the listener to lay back, close their eyes and go on a journey with him with songs that paint backdrops and images just as much as it captures the ear. The album plays with dynamics with unforgiving bravado, the peaks and valleys snap and demand your focus and attention. If you like your music bold with a dash of oddity, then Sour Dream is an album you will love.
Rating: 4 out of 5