Paul Leon Anderson fell in love with electronic music at the age of 10 and his debut release entitled Things is his first attempt at the genre. There are a surplus of electronic artists out there these days but a small percentage have the chops to have the production sound as good as you would expect from relatively popular artists like Four Tet or Caribou. A lot of it either sounds muddy, the highs are shrill or the whole dang thing is out of whack. Things was a treat for a number of reasons but I was happy to hear the aesthetics were treated properly and sounded great coming out of my laptop or my studio monitors.
Musically, Anderson will draw the most comparisons to Boards of Canada. His songs often mix ominous alien-like percussive and atmospheric elements with a strong foundational drumbeat you might find on a hip-hop album.
First up is “Crush,” which begins as a synth mimics the imagined sound we have in our head of what interstellar travel to the Andromeda galaxy might sound like. Anderson brings us to a planet but not necessarily this one when he introduces percussive elements that almost sound like the combination of a scratch of a vinyl record and the first utterance of someone saying something.
Anderson follows a similar formula with “Squelcher” where he lays an alien beat on top of a cosmic pad and sets the cogs in motion. The next track “Rotating Decision Unfolder” is both contemplative and ominous concurrently. It’s a unique combination of sounds that might sound stale by themselves but when combined creates a delicate balance of frequencies.
Anderson proves he isn’t a one-trick pony and takes a stab at a minimal atmospheric piece called “Spectrographic Memory Encoder.” The song’s focal center is an arpeggiated synth that sounds like a laser beam rallying to different checkpoints. With the high end covered a low, murky fog slowly sprawls to fill up the rest of the space.
As the album progresses Anderson pushes boundaries and really starts to come into his own. The last two tracks “Even / Ever / Over” and “Reversible Logic Gate” aren't to be missed.
Anderson has made a statement with his debut. He is a creative electronic artist and it is obvious that he put a lot of time and effort into how he wants his music to sound.
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