Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Ultravillain - I N V U
There is something exceptionally special about the debut LP from Vancouver's Future Pop duo, Ultravillain. The overall production of the album has a dark and edgy quality that's created from the breathiness of Chris' vocal delivery against the primal breakdown of the beats and bass line created by Tobias. Each track is crafted in such a manner that everything that Chris does, vocally, is fully supported and never trampled on. I've said it in other reviews of their previous works that these two gentlemen know how to create music that is going to stimulate every part of you. They know exactly what buttons to push and how to bend those rules to the point of breaking without ever doing too much. It's a very fine line they walk because male driven electronic music generally doesn't have as large of a following as say a female fronted group would but these guys know exactly how to pull it off.
I think the work that an electro rock or synth driven producer puts into the creation of a song tends to be much more intensive than just laying down a guitar or a piano because the melody has to be crafted from scratch with electronics. Each part of the track has to be looped and created utilizing an exceptionally creative hand that has a depth of understanding in how all of the pieces are going to come together as a melody. It's building a machine. It's making sure that each and every piece adds up to the whole as a unified sum total of the parts. Tobias has a deft hand at making sure that there isn't anything out of place and that it all works. Without the creation of the rhythm and structure of the track, the song doesn't work and there isn't anything for Chris' vocals to ride on. And ride they do. They are fluid and they are precise. Each and every syllable is given the utmost care as he puts them out into the universe for consumption. Without harping on the idea that there is an inherent overall sex appeal to this album, the guys have again created something that's primal and visceral that just settles into you that feels so good. I think a lot of it has to do with the slow, methodical, purpose driven beats that never seem rushed or overdone.
So let's talk about the album. Mostly importantly, it's not left repeat for about a week. If I'm in my car, it's playing. I've dug into these tracks and I honestly say, I N V U is the coolest electro album I've listened to in a very long time. First and foremost, the tracks are gigantic. With an average running time of about 4.07 minutes, these 13 tracks are pretty beefy. You are absolutely getting every ounce of their talent and desire to make the best possible music they can. Each song fits so perfectly with the entire album that you don't even realize you're over halfway through the album by the time you reach, "Human". I can't decide which song is my favorite because they are all so good. Whether it's what's being said as a social statement in, "Believer" or the super sexy lyrical delivery from "Garden"; each song could easily stand on it's own as a single and there aren't any that I want to skip over when it comes to them in the line up. Leading off with "Talk About" was a fantastic choice because it sets the tone of the album. You quickly get an idea of what's to come and the bar is set pretty high and I don't feel as if they ever let you down. "Get Invisible" is this crazy atmospheric track that just fills you up when you close your eyes and let the song just kind of wash over you. "666" has this funky retro vibe to it but the story it tells is this cautionary tale of not getting involved when you know you want to but it's the worst idea ever because you know how bad it's going to turn out in the end. If something a little more aggressive is your speed, "All We Get" fills that nicely. It's on the primal end of the spectrum with a more raw and edgy beat.
If you can't tell by now, I am an unapologetic fan of this group and I want to see them do amazing things. I want huge collaborations. I want their music to be featured in television shows and on soundtracks. I want a lot for them because more than anything they create amazing music and they are genuinely nice guys. I don't think this album will go too far from my heavy rotation playlist. I really hope they are able to get what they need from the public from this album because it's a solid album and I am seriously in awe of the talent that went into making it.
UltraVillain on the Web