By: Lisa Disinger
After a few stops into his spring oddessy, Phutureprimitive finally unveiled part one of his latest studio album, Searching for Beauty in the Darkest Places. Sponsored by The Untz, his spring 2013 tour put him on the road through April with the highly complementary ill-esha for their dual album release tour, which wrapped this past weekend in Colorado. The second half of his album, however, is not to be released until later this fall, which will be a long wait full of anticipation for many fans.
This five song collection employs an opulent, luscious sonic palette, exploring the balance between light and dark. Shadowy bass wubs, low in tessitura and dark in timbre are paired with sweet and sensual female vocals. Metallic, chiming arpeggiations and accents, bright in sound are dampened and twisted into shades of grey by minor keys. The lyrics of the opening line to track one "Enemy," featuring Jillian Ann, are but another perfect example of the artful pairing of opposites, reminding us that the only way to overcome an enemy is through loving them.
The tracks of the album alternate focus between syrupy vocals and unadulterated instrumentals, although many of the oscilatting synths take on a human vocal element through talking and growling wah-wah qualities or soprano ahh simulations. Phutureprimitive continues to play with the balance of yin and yang, or superficial opposites, in this way; musical machines that closely resemble people, and humans trying to sound like machines. Check out the beatbox based intro in "Vamp," for example, and then continue to listen to the rest of the track with those sounds in mind, comparing their aural qualities with those of the the vocal synth charicatures that come later.
Although heavy, full, grinding bass and pointed synthesizers permeate the album, gentle feminine gasps, murmurs, and other organic sound effects peek in through the gaps. It must have taken a lot of effort in the way of mastering to get all of these simple, soft, round sounds to stand out amongst such strong, assertive, square synths, but the resut in an undeniably exquisite balance.
Searching for Beauty in the Darkest Places Pt.1, is supported by Phutureprimitive's own label Native Harmonix, and can be found on his bandcamp page. The album not only features original productions, but artfully crafted remixes, including the final track "Dusted Compass," originally by The Human Experience. This track is strikingly beautiful. It is difficult to put into simplistic, indefinite words such complex sounds and emtional qualities exhibited in this production. You'll just have to listen for yourself.
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