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Favorite ThisRandom Rab: Visurreal review

Published: December 29, 2011

By: Jamie Reysen

This holiday season, producer Random Rab has given the electronic scene a true gift: Visurreal, his fourth full-length album. Fans should listen to the 17-track LP in its entirety with their eyes closed; the nearly 80 minutes of melodic, ambient sound will send listeners through a range of psychedelic scenes and otherworldly spaces.

This classically trained musician has explored a plethora of musical genres over the course of his career – from stints performing in jazz orchestras to time spent fronting a heavy metal band. Like Random Rab’s past albums, Visurreal draws from an impressive array of influences, merging everything from classical to Arabic music and creating something altogether unique.

On this LP, Random Rab paints surreal soundscapes through varied instrumentation, drum machines, sequencers, and vocal samples. Though each song is different, they transition seamlessly, unifying the album. Meanwhile, the slow, graceful builds and much-anticipated drops throughout Visurreal will keep listeners engaged.

“Shishala” opens with a paradoxically strong yet delicate string section. A drum rhythm drives the track forward, and it’s joined by unique sounds that will send listeners off into nature without ever having to step foot outside.
On “I Alone,” Random Rab sings of visions seen when he closes his eyes, which include “a serpent waiting in disguise.” His vocals advance along a hard, steady drumbeat and prominent bass line, evoking the eeriness of unfamiliar territory.

Some songs integrate incomprehensible but beautiful female vocal samples that inspire an ethereal tone, like the slow, melodic “Palace” and the speedier “Master of Gyroscopes,” a track that transports the mind to a faraway, tropical world.

“Apparently” is a standout song, with both male and female vocal sections that glide across a gentle, wistful melody, giving the track a love song vibe. Something about its composition against repeated lyrics that pledge, “I’ll be letting go now,” sounds like closure.

Random Rab’s careful compositions are so multifaceted that they feel completely open to interpretation – and isn’t that the whole point of music? With layer upon layer of innovative instrumentation, Visurreal will make listeners feel like they’re wandering through someone else’s dreamscape, but its undercurrent of human emotion will allow fans to make this otherworld their own.

Tags: BreaksDowntempo