Review: Since the release of debut album Charmer three years ago, Claptone's profile has rocketed, despite his continued insistence of disguising his identity using a "golden-beaked mask". Fantast, the Berlin-based producer's second album, feels like a major release: a set of woozy and attractive pop-house songs with serious crossover potential. As with its predecessor, Fantast boasts a dizzying range of guest vocalists - Kele Okereke, Zola Blood, Ben Nicholson, Tender and Ben Duffy included - as well as sparkling, radio-friendly cuts that variously doff a cap to Daft Punk style disco-pop, Balearic piano house, '80s boogie, rock-tinged synth-pop and, of course, Claptone's deep house roots. Impeccably produced and full of attractive, hooky songs, this should cement Claptone's reputation as a producer on the rise.
Review: Since leaping to more electronic ground with 2015's 'Dilate', Vessels' futuristic latest offering 'The Great Distraction' sees them plotting a course through neon-lit, industrial flecked music with its feet firmly in both post-rock and IDM, ambitiously drawing from and blending elements of the two. Highlight single 'Radiart' burns slowly, stacking up pulsating and hypnotic layers akin to Immunity era Jon Hopkins. Other tracks, such as opener 'Mobilise' and 'Position' take a more intense and polyrhythmic approach, repurposing their previous math-rock work. The production goes from feeling cavernous to incredibly close, and these deft shifts in space succeed in highlighting the build-ups and the peaks that punctuate the album. Though Vessels' sound may have changed lanes, this is an engrossing and panoramic album by a band not content with resting on their laurels.
Review: For his fourth album, Vitalic captures the melting pot zeitgeist, combining more styles and sounds than ever before. There's your Delphic-style indie inspirations ("Rave Kids Go"), there's your emotional Florence angle ("Under Your Sun"), there's epic anthemic synth blasting ("Nexus"), hell there's even time for dubstep influenced sounds ("Vigipirate"). Vitalic has never been known for just one sound but he has been known for consistency, and, as varied and vast as this LP is, Rave Age nails his anarchic but aligned sound style better than any of his previous works.