Randy Gibson
Spotlight 14

A Gap Between
Animal Trainer
Robbie Basho
Olga Bell
Keith Berry
Bly de Blyant
Christoph Bruhn
Dewa Budjana
Children Of The Stones
Loren Connors
Croy and McCann
Douglas Detrick
Elektro Guzzi
Alejandro Franov
Grenier & Archie Pelago
Paul Hazendonk
Quentin Hiatus
Peter Kutin
Elise Mélinand
Nicole Mitchell
Tomotsugu Nakamura
Danny Norbury
Fatima Al Qadiri
Steve Roach
Shield Patterns
Soft Machine Legacy
Sontag Shogun
Spotlight Kid
Stein Urheim
Strata Florida
Strom Noir
Vittoria Fleet
Antje Vowinckel
Lionel Weets

Compilations / Mixes
Maya Jane Coles

EPs / Cassettes / Mini-Albums / Singles
AGC Esquire
Alix Perez
You'll Never Get to Heaven

AGC Esquire: The First Broadcast EP

Paris76: Endless Blue EP
Emerald and Doreen Records

As their respective EPs demonstrate, AGC Esquire and Paris76 share a love for retro-futuristic sounds drenched in synths and indebted to low-budget sci-fi films of the ‘80s and creative figures like Vangelis, John Carpenter, and Jean Michael Jarre. Apparently terms such as outrun and synthwave have been used to describe the music of Mitch Murder, Miami Nights 1984, Com Truise, and Pertubator, and AGC Esquire would appear to be a kindred spirit, judging by the sound of his debut EP The First Broadcast. The first sound one hears in its opening cut, “Love Scene At Bay Ridge,” is George Clooney (as Jack Foley) saying, “It's something that happens. It's like seeing someone for the first time, like you're going to be passing on the street and you look at each other for a few seconds…” (the material's lifted from Steven Soderbergh's 1998 film Out of Sight). And though the voice sample is a nice atmospheric touch, it quickly recedes in importance once the tune's luscious synthesizer gleam and laid-back drum pulse kick in. The unnamed Scotland-based producer certainly knows how to create a mood, which in this case is as languorous and wistful as one would expect, given the track title. By comparison, the EP's title cut is harder-hitting, its drum attack punchier and its rhythms more aggressive, though AGC Esquire does soften the tone by adding a hushed female voice to its synth blaze. Of all the EP's cuts, it's the third, “Montage Music,” that has the greatest spring in its step: accompanied by all manner of joyfully wailing synthesizers, the single-minded tune's determined to get to wherever it's going and as quickly as possible.

At nineteen minutes, The First Broadcast conforms to conventional EP length; at forty-eight, Endless Blue is less EP or mini-album than full-fledged album. No matter: the release sees Paris Papalias, a self-professed lover of ‘80s music who hails from the pretty island of Limnos in the Aegean Sea, working up six deep Paris76 anthems. After many years toiling as a radio host and DJ, Papalias decided to fill what he saw as a musical void, specifically music lacking the kind of dream-like splendour one associates with both the early hours of the morning and the cool of the middle-of-the-night, by creating his own material. As it turns out, Papalias's Paris76 tracks are as atmospheric as AGC Esquire's if heavier and a tad more epic in scale. During a typical Paris76 cut, the listener is drenched in showers of hammering drum beats, chunky keyboard patterns, and, of course, chiming synths, and the always-rousing music sometimes steps outside its synthwave core to flirt with IDM and prog (“Magic Ride,” “Just Dreaming”) and even funk (“So Many Girls”). Papalias also grants each of the six pieces lots of room to stretch out, with the average one running about eight minutes long. Endless Blue adds up to a non-stop, ultra-saturated ride of oceanic, ‘80s-styled blaze guaranteed to keep one wide-eyed.

May 2014