I guess the purpose of Netaudio is to step outside of a corporate, profit-centred model. UK Netlabel Dedpop has moved beyond this concept of free digital media and started to release it’s artists on cassette tape as well as providing download codes for new releases. The purpose of this, it seems, is an attempt to breathe life back into that forgotten ritual of discovering new music and physically holding it in your hands; the commitment of waiting for something rather than click, play, forget.
Myself and fellow Netlabelism author Simon (aka BitBasic) have both released albums on this quirky label and I think it’s fair to say that we are in good company. Rykard released his latest full-length album Rhythm Phoenix on August 11th and it is pretty sweet!
80′s inspired synths and reverberated 808′s paint high-gloss pictures of androids on Miami beaches, with Delorians gliding between metallic palm trees and retro Martians clad in shell suits chatting up women with 3 breasts apiece. This is pure spacetronica without the tackiness and perfect for a summer-time release.
Album opener ‘Shelter Cove’ is also the title track of a bonus EP available exclusively to those who purchase this album on cassette. It is an optimistic and vibrant track with an addictive hook that could have easily slipped off Wagon Christ’s ‘Sorry I Made You Lush’. ‘Love Shock’ drives the album on with growling bass and a backwards piano before enjoying a memorable yet short reprise that typifies the subtle use female vocal samples and breathy strings in the style of classic ambient house music. The shimmering vocal layers of ‘Lady Of The Lake’ drift off to a sublime, textured outro that flickers and crackles like angelic radio static. The cacophonous swirling of ‘Danger Sex’ with it’s orgasmic groans, stinks of that Flying lotus flavour circa Los Angeles but with intermittent flurries of dreamy synth. Album highlight for this reviewer is the penultimate ‘Neon Drive’ which could easily accompany College & Electric Youth on the credits to cult film of a similar title ‘Drive’, famous for its 80′s inspired soundtrack.
This is a strong album with consistent, if not at times, monotonous sonic motifs. It delivers neatly arranged layers of synthesized texture as well as tight melodic hooks and text-book production trickery.