Monday, April 09, 2018

Serph - Aerialist [Noble Label Promo]

To be released via the Noble Label on April 21st, 2k18 is "Aerialist", the latest longplay effort by the Tokyo-based Serph, also known under the artistic moniker that is Reliq. Following the conceptual idea of creating 'a soundtrack for an aerial road movie' as the promo sheet is revealing we see the mysterious, and still anonymous, producer create a 13 track spanning album. Opening with "First Train Home" we see Serph leading us into previously unexplored terrain when it comes to his musical output, resembling a take on Drill'n'Bass / Intelligent Drum'n'Bass structures beatwise whilst adding up heaploads of atmospheric layers and melancholia infused piano bits, somehow evoking memories of certain Aphex Twin explorations before ending on a relatively aprubt note, walking further down the drawn line with the sugary Electronica piece that is "Coil" whilst attempting to cut into highspeed Jungle / Drum'n'Bass with full orchestration on "Sparkle", sampling a well known Technova motif from the mid-90s as well as seemingly Japanese vocals to an interesting effect whilst bringing some interesting Funk-attitude to the table in "Airflow". With "Nightfall" we see Serph going deep into Ambient-infused territories whilst providing an array of organic breakbeats and female choirs of urban quality put way in the background of the mix before the trademark pianos provide an extra level of, well..., kitsch. "Folky" is fully over the top when it comes to intertwined melodies, "Ignition" is more of an Easy Listening / Ambient crossover with a little Balearic twist before soft D'n'B structures come into play and "Artifakt" combines melodic piano lines with cut up-techniques, backward sampling, HipHop / Dope Beatz, golden era Soul-samples and surely Vaporwave- - and Skweee- - -reminiscing aesthetics, being the most fascinating track on this album that is kinda so-so, produced with rather good intentions yet being quite too much at many a points. Furthermore the "Traveller" is more on a Balearic / Downbeat tip, the "Weather" provides both epic melodies as well as an interesting anti-groove attitude alongside reprocessed Field Recordings whilst "Popp" enters a light-hearted, playful, positive Electronica realm on a foundation of deep ass subs and sparse, junglistic beats that make us think of early Plaid or late 90s The Irresistible Force productions for a reason. Watching the "Sunset" our soundtrack of choice consists of  the sweetest TripHop meets double time beat ever, once again accompanied by well-layered, panorama strings and the final cut "Phosphorus" brings us another take of quite sugar-coated Drum'n'Bass-resemblance in combination with uplifting production music sounds and quirky vintage synth bass bits. A little over the top at times, yet interesting for followers of Aphex Twin, Mike Paradinas or Bogdan Racynski for a reason.


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