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Vitesse X - Us Ephemeral Music Album Reviews

Vitesse X - Us Ephemeral Music Album Reviews
The 100% Electronica affiliate channels bits of techo, trance, 2-step, and jungle into contemporary rave hybrids tempered with a hint of vaporwave’s self-awareness.

When New York City’s Jordan Stern stopped playing guitar and bass in shoegaze bands and started making techno, she took the name Vitesse X. As an algebraic variable expressed in French, the name might mean unknown speed. On her debut album, though, the velocity is fairly clockable: mid-tempo, with a nice vroom every now and then to prove the music’s horsepower, transportive if not transformational.

Us Ephemeral is worth a spin, though. Vitesse X came up, in part, through the 100% Electronica scene, which spent the pandemic amusing themselves and amassing followings via ravey, post-vaporwave VR concerts on YouTube. Engineered with precision, her output is among the scene’s most accomplished. It’s a bit peppier than Slowdive and Orbital’s early-’90s crystallizations of noise, dub, and Detroit techno. It’s heavier on the breaks than the current high-speed techno of Brooklyn clubs between the Covid waves, where muscles outflank hooks. And it’s engaged, if a bit neutral. Her work lacks some of the personality of that 100% gang, but it also sidesteps their often exhausting blend of TRL, PLUR, and MST3K.

The title track kicks things off with dust clouds of reverb, little scraps of what might be radio transmissions, a big widescreen beat, and Stern’s floaty vocals. A sped-up voice riding shotgun chants, Go go go go go. It’s a winning start to an album that continues down similar paths, passing landmarks of the last 40-odd years of dance music. “Potential Energy” takes in techstep, trance wooshes, and EDM fizz, landing somewhere near the Powerpuff Girls theme. (Which is not a read: I recently witnessed that bubblegum blaster destroy a small club in Brooklyn.) “Activation” is part Kylie/Cathy Dennis’ “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” part the XX/Florence and the Machine’s cover of “You Got the Love,” and even a touch of t.A.T.u.’s “Not Gonna Get Us.” In a cheeky bit of map-reading, she sings, “You keep getting in my head,” making it sound like a nice, if familiar, place to get lost in.

“Spaces” spatters a chunky frame with buzzy synths and scraps of organ, while Stern’s voice weaves in and out; with a bit more drive, it could charge into Charli XCX or her own tourmates Magdalena Bay territory. Spacier, and more intriguing, are “Rash Devices,” which drips spangled guitar and murmuring sighs across a bed of 2-step, and the smeary “Centrifuge Me,” which offers a hint of the force she might accumulate if she let go of the Télépopmusik tastefulness and let loose. Album highlight “Gated Bloom” unleashes a storm of drum trickery, filters, and fuckery to map out a disorienting stereo field. It may lack the breakbeat-as-breakthrough revelation of Eris Drew, but it’s aiming for stimulation, not revolution, and it surely gets there.

Sometimes, as with the pitched-down vocals and guitar peals of “Therma Maxima,” tracks feel more like tourist traps, obligatory stylistic touchdowns. “Desecrate my mind,” she might sing, but the moment seems dutiful. And closer “Repress Reprise” approaches a crisp weightlessness but gets bogged down in water-feature effects. Vitesse X isn’t there yet, but she’s heading somewhere all her own. Until then, Us Ephemeral is a good trip.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Vitesse X - Us Ephemeral Music Album Reviews Vitesse X - Us Ephemeral Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, April 07, 2022 Rating: 5

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