Layers of vibrant color vibrate and undulate before you. The seemingly random patterns formed by their movement are dizzying, yet you feel fully at peace within the picturesque tides of sound. For a moment the disparate images line up to form a face, noticeably content even without a smile, only to dissipate as suddenly as it materialized. The ethereal fog consumes you for a long while, until the haze forms a road leading to a town. You walk down it . . .
Inspiration can be found just about anywhere, and where better than a region that revolutionized a sizable portion of diverse electronic genres? A City Remembrancer is the debut full-length from producer Ed Gillett as Shape Worship. Gillett has meticulously crafted an expansive, emotionally ripe journey through the UK’s past, present, and future via electronic experimentalism of the most beautifully organic variety.
The record plays like a spiritual tour of the sounds that the UK birthed. The tracks fluidly delve through feather-light grime, mechanical techno, hazy jungle, and otherworldly dub, all immersed in tranquil ambience. Contorted samples of spoken-word testimonials from London’s residents haunt the lush instrumentation and ground the songs in concrete memories. It’s a deeply affecting listening experience throughout.
Eviction for the purpose of new development is infamously known as “decanting” in the UK, and the displacement that results from it forms this record’s underlying core; it’s about the bittersweet sensation of ushering in newness and the sacrifices that are made in its wake, in London and everywhere. Records with this much significance deserve to be celebrated. If you’re seeking ethereal, expansive electronics, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)