Monday, 1 August 2016

Album: Sam Brown - Wheel of Fortune

Sam Brown Wheel of Fortune Album

Info: Brooklyn based Sam Brown is a multi-instrumentalist song-writer who dabbles in a wide variety of genres spanning from rock to soul to experimental, electronica and beyond. Brown's sophomore album, Wheel of Fortune, was released a few weeks ago; "This new release "Wheel Of Fortune" is primarily a sprawling electronic double album, featuring lots of influences ranging from Hindustani music from his time spent studying in India to Moog-heavy electronic artists."

And sprawling it sure is, coming in with a whopping 34 tracks spread over almost two and a half hours in comparison to last years immense debut Yellow Cake's 14 songs. Things start nice and mellow on the opening 'Untitled', a dream-like movement of sound that is hypnotically carried by Brown's soft vocal. After the introductory Moog offering of '23' comes a psychedelic and disorientating experience with 'Black Is The Colour', this is certainly where Sam Brown excels, experimenting beyond normal boundaries and creating an atmosphere that is at once both dark and playful.

Sci-fi electro moods abound on the appropriately titled 'Heart to Starboard (feat. Fourth Shift)', there's tinges of 80's electronic music á la Tubeway Army with the vocalizer adding a new age edge to a track which again is a lot fun. 'Magic' could be the soundtrack to a classic retro game, colourfully zipping through the clicks and beats before further eyebrows are happily raised on the house and techno sounds of 'H Is The Most Precious Letter'.

Highlights from the rest of the double album (and there are many) come on the nu-jazz electronic 'We Don't Need Anybody', the whacky madness and funk grooves of 'Bass', the Aphex Twin-esque 'We Are Not Your Friends', the escapist trance of '77' and the sublimely delicious inertia of 'The Absinthe Fairy With Auburn Hair', one of my favourites. Wheel of Fortune is hugely ambitious and travels far and wide, there's a lot to digest but it's immensely pleasurable hearing an artist confidently taking experimentalism to new heights.

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