Monday 5 October 2015

Review of '100% Electronica' by George Clanton

The title isn’t a lie. This is 100% electronica. But not the bargain bucket house music that the plain title seems to suggest.

 Brooklyn vaporwave producer and singer George Clanton definitely has his own unique style going on – a hypnotic and warped emulation of eighties nostalgia. New-Order-esque croons ride woozy synths and echoey eighties drums. What makes it more than simply another retro album is the bleary-eyed effects layered over the top. Lashings of reverb and wobbly detune leave each track feeling dreamy and hazy like a mirage. 

There’s a vivid neon brightness to it all that makes me picture myself in a smoky night club surrounded by perms and bandanas. However, under the happy brightness lies a dark undertone, sonically evident in the 8-bit droning intro of ‘Warmspot’ and the brief broken vocals of ‘Bleed’, but more obvious in the melancholy lyrics which tell stories of heartbreak: ‘Someone else can make you happy/ Someone else can show you a good time’. True nostalgia is as depressively longing as it is beautiful after all and George Clanton captures the true essence of this, also throwing in some dark and sexual humour reminiscent of Ariel Pink as to not come across as too sentimental: 'Someone else can bite until you bleed'.