Delphic - Acolyte

Delphic - Acolyte

Delphic

Acolyte

Released: Jan 11 2010

Genre: Electronic, Indie

Label: Chimeric/Polydor

Rating: 4.4/5

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Electronic indie is a style of music that’s been explored by several well-known bands over the past few years, Editors, Bloc Party, and The Killers to name a few, however; the end-product seems to sound better when it comes to a band naturally. The ‘indietronic’ sound of Delphic isn’t built up of powerful guitar riffs over aggressive electro-effects, as the central sound of the Manchester three-piece is down to Richard Boardman (synths), the raw, electronic aspect of the group ultimately creates an innovative sound, encapsulating their originality.

Opening track, Clarion Call, is a short track, but the overall effect of the opener is explanative, in both vocals and instrumentals, for marking an opening theme and setting the tone. ‘We all need time to change, we all have time to change’, Acolyte is only 52 minutes in total length, but it’s long enough to change one’s opinion on electronic indie: it sometimes can actually work.

Second track, Doubt, is the most pop-orientated of the record, and although it offers the least in terms of originality, it doesn’t fail in tempting the listener to return for more. Here, simplicity is captivating. Similarly, Red Lights is far from complex — nevertheless, the trippy, quick paced backing synth conflicts with Cook’s tranquilising vocals in a bizarrely complementing manner. Perhaps the top layer of music is less complex than the overall product. It’s certainly an audacious move to attempt a sound that could so easily have resulted in an audible monstrosity, so its surprisingly pleasing outcome only makes it all the more sweet.

Album titled track, Acolyte, is the record’s longest, and both the most experimental and progressive in nature. As time elapses, elements of flamboyant electronica come and go, with distant, lulling vocals creating an expansive sphere of utopia for the listener. Following tracks, Halycon and Submission, offer sounds more vocal in dominance, offering a slice of reality before transcending back into an illusory state one last time with record finale, Remain.

Acolyte is an inspiring record, that’s extravagant without being too intrusive. It offers space for indulgence, and space to reflect — a refreshing example of truly mesmerising music. Delphic have set the bar for 2010, and seemingly the start of this new decade could be the ignition of potentially wide-scale success.

~ Article by James Murray

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Un

Un

Dan Black

Un

Released: Jul 13 2009

Label: Polydor

Genre: Indie/Electronic/Pop

Rating: 3.6/5

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Last year Dan Black’s ‘HYPNTZ’, a mash up of Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Hypnotize’ and Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ created a build up of some small-scale recognition in the direction of the pop-electro tyro; however, the album version of the track – ‘Symphonies’ takes away many aspects of the original’s raw rap vocals, replaced by even more-so melodic lyrics, drowning the track in generic unremarkableness.

The album is continuous in producing very melodic synth-vocal tracks, and succeeds in creating an album with varying tempo’s and moods, with the fast tempo of ‘Pump my Pumps’ in contrast to the very slow and somewhat phlegmatic ‘Ecstasy’. ‘Alone’ and ‘Yours’ are great dance floor tracks, making it practically impossible not to move about when played out loud. Furthermore, Black is a good live act, not leaving any aspects of his work left behind in the studio when performing on-stage.

Black’s ‘Un’ contains some good tracks, and is effective through its simplicity; as an album to remember, it’s not so successful, being more of an album to forget in the future, but nevertheless having some short-term appeal. As a whole ‘Un’ is a fairly Un-original, Un-exhilarating and Un-sophisticated release, however, more than successful in creating a final feel-good electro-pop album, which unarguably deserves much more recognition than the artist has so far encountered.

~ Article by James Murray