Saturday, 14 January 2017

EP: Alex Smyth - The Utopian Dream

Alex Smyth The Utopian Dream
Photo: Lucas Garvey

Alex Smyth - Weathered

Info: 'The concept of the EP is of a '3 fold Utopian Dream' which means - ''Utopia is loosely defined as a place where everything is perfect, so a 3-fold utopian dream would probably be a dream where everything is 3 times as perfect as in reality or  a really really really good dream''

The layout of the EP is reflection of this dream with each song being different structure and time of the dream - finalising the dream/ep with the title track would render coming out of the dream/waking up.'

One thing you can say for sure about Alex Smyth and The Utopian Dream EP is that he is totally at ease melding different sub genres into the instrumental electronic aesthetic of his music. This is succinctly tied together in the opening track, 'Weathered' (above), where Smyth blends differing types of guitar riffs with both contemporary and 80's sythpop and electronica, and here they all make perfect sense together.

On the EP's title track we have rolling guitar plucking followed by mellow synth and drum beats, quite reminiscent of Tycho and as the track progresses God Is An Astronaut to my ear, and that feeling of finely balanced happy / sad moods. There's a deliberate and more focused shift in mood on the 7 plus minutes of 'Control', it's a more contemplative piece of instrumentalism, a cross breed between Eno and Mike Oldfield, again Tycho vibes hit you at the 5 minute mark, with some beautifully arching guitar and a rising energy.

Alex Smyth - CXCVII

Final track and single 'CXCVII' which featured here previously brings a highly enjoyable collection of tracks to a strong finish. The lo-fi Mogwai-esque percussion sits comfortably along the see-saw pace of the electronic guitar and rippling bass-line. This is an excellent debut and opening salvo for Smyth, and one he should be as happy with as we are.

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