Fluorescent Records Presents: Summer Vacation Part 2

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Fluorescent Records Presents: Summer Vacation
Various Artists
Fluorescent Records
2012

“Four Part Review by Who’s Afraid of Music?

After the dark, house-y print that was the first quarter, a new sound opens the second.  Smesh Party’s auto-tune heavy [Oh Baby] is this genre’s take on T-Pain. It’s R&B, more gospel-inspired than our modern rhythm and blues. Towards the end it crashes with the cymbal-heavy rhythm and trips headfirst into Koda’s track: [Lycanthropy]. It’s definitely a Koda track, and that’s something I can say about Koda as an artist: when I hear it, I know it is Koda. It draws comparison to [Generator] on Shadows & the Wolf Below from earlier this year, but the similarities are fleeting. They are found mostly in the intervallic relationship of the melody. It’s also wonderful to hear understandable lyrics ahead of the clopping rhythm of witch house: “And if the light turns on, please return to your bed. Little children, little children; light at the end.”

[Dali] opens with what I can only describe as being in the massive cathedrals of Italy. Scattered speech bouncing of the walls and domes in a language I couldn’t understand and it returns at regular intervals. It has a great bass line underneath a distorted xylophonic rhythm section. [Drowning the Light] by DARK MOTHER, whose name and band name suggests something sinister, has nothing like that on their minds. There is a lot of synth in general in neon rainbow hues, but the female vocalist is a nice touch. And whoever put the POLYHYMNIΔ track next to this one is a genius, they run so smoothly into each other, I had a terrible time figuring out when one track ended and the next began. They sound like different movements of the same crystalline symphony. Rattling beats, the same type of synth as in [Drowning the Light] and whirling melodies combine to make this track a standout in this arc. They serve as early notification for a switch in the timbre of the album which goes into full swing in the third and fourth quarters. But all is not well in [Free David] because it turns dark fast with deep synth and the negative movements of the bass line, but just as quickly it’s back up above the clouds in the summer heat to finish off with a cool breakdown.

“It’s… just a sad summer song.” Immediately, we are thrown back under cloud cover with aptly titled [Sad Summer Song] by Pe† Ceme†ery featuring PrettyFaces SplitOpen. Full synthesizer chords fill the hallow space of the music left by the whining nodes and industrial beats. We continue on the industrial train of thought into the surprising indie rock of [phantom3] by ghostandthesong, a band I’d love to hear more of. Rocking guitars and thundering bass power this track onto my favorites list from this compilation. More heaviness follows with [The Princess of the Internet is Dead] by Drowning the Colossus and POLYHYMNIΔ. It’s a massive piece of music featuring a twirling synth array and those future garage beats from POLYHYMNIΔ’s record. I’m not sure who this princess is, but it’s an epic dirge.

Michael Jackson nomenclature aside, GREATBEER’s [L.Y.N.F. (Lovely, Young, & Fresh)] is a throwback to a 60s indie soundtrack with all the bass and boom you’ve come to expect from any Fluorescent artist. It ends with a coaxing, sporadic wind out and into… [Beth]: a standout with its fratricidal, fucked up pseudo-rap behind an equally dark, choir-ornamented track. Like a cat afraid of change, it pulls all the stops out to fuck your mind before you go into the next two arcs of music. That rounds out this quarter of Summer Vacation. This arc definitely straddled two different sides of this genre, one dark and sinister, the other poppy and sparkling. The next two quarters feature much lighter music with more pop inflections, so prepare yourself: we’re only half done.

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~ by vinyabarion on July 14, 2012.

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