Naked Flames - Miracle in Transit Music Album Reviews

Naked Flames - Miracle in Transit Music Album Reviews
Peeling back the lo-fi veil of his previous work, the 23-year-old Bristol producer channels classic club sounds and Y2K video-game aesthetics into breathtaking new hybrids.

If you were a child in the 1990s, your first exposure to house and techno probably wasn’t in a club full of sweaty bodies. For listeners too young to make it into an actual rave, you’d be much more likely to hear dance music blaring from your television set during late-night gaming sessions. The drum’n’bass loops of Bomberman Hero, the jungle rhythms of Parasite Eve, the thumping trance of Need For Speed—the rise of home consoles hit right when dance music was bursting into the mainstream, and the composers of many of the most popular game soundtracks of the era channeled these addictive, looping new electronic sounds into their work; some were even DJs themselves. Stripped of their original contexts, these styles left a different impression, and as the Y2K generation has aged into adulthood—bringing a nostalgia for rave culture with it—a new crop of producers has begun to present alternate-reality takes on what club music can be.

One of those is Naked Flames: In the past two and a half years, the 23-year-old Bristol producer (known only as Anton) has published a steady stream of digital releases and YouTube mixes, all as hyperactive as an illegal rave on Rainbow Road. On last year's Binc Rinse Repeat and 247 365, Naked Flames coated his sped-up trance and house in a lo-fi VHS haze, adding a soft, sweet texture to serene melodies and supercharged funk basslines. His music is as breathlessly joyous as it is aggressively hypnotic, its low-bitrate pulse extending endlessly as each song sucks the listener into a cotton-candy vortex of dance bliss. But on Miracle in Transit, his latest release for chronically online net label Dismiss Yourself, he attempts a sharper, sleeker approach. Dropping the smeared production for a clean, shimmering sound, Miracle in Transit shows off Naked Flames’ ear for jubilant house music that can stand on its own two feet, with gleaming synth lines and phased flutes circling around each other in a dazzling race to the finish line. Naked Flames is still learning how to sustain his sugar highs over his tracks’ extended runtimes, but Miracle in Transit proves that the producer’s past internet cult hits weren't an accident. His productions reconfigure the dancefloor from an exhilarating new vantage point.

Part of what made Naked Flames’ previous releases so entrancing lay in how the crudely lo-fi production seemed to fill in the blank spaces around the edges of his tracks. An avowed Basic Channel acolyte who refers to his own style as “dub rave,” Naked Flames brings an almost hypnagogic element to his music; the dreamlike veil of distortion can feel like glimpsing the perfect party through a tiny keyhole. Without the lo-fi shroud, Miracle in Transit occasionally reveals the limits of his loops’ repetitive nature. “Pan Matsuri” opens the album on a glimmeringly pretty note, with swinging hi-hats and glowing chords breezier than anything we’ve heard from Naked Flames before. But as the track swells with sighing, J-poppy vocals and ethereal washes of synth, it feels like it’s building to some climax that never fully arrives. “Carrot Car” fares much better: From the moment its bouncy acid bassline kicks into gear, the track launches into a heavenly stomp as multi-colored and kinetic as a secret Sonic the Hedgehog zone. As the song pushes itself higher and higher, making way for gloriously chintzy karaoke horns toward the end, it captures Naked Flames at his euphoric best. With the lo-fi production cleared up, the track’s glee is all the more potent.

There’s a careful balance between steady patience and uninhibited release at play throughout Miracle in Transit, and the album’s best tracks reward the extended time it can take to reach their peaks. On “Miles of Conkers,” Naked Flames hovers over a misty, hurried beat for a full five minutes, working on an almost ambient level until a Crystal Waters-like organ enters the picture. The bass begins to rush, the hi-hats start getting jukey, and soon Naked Flames is ecstatically layering sparkling synth lines. Where the track is slow to get going, by the nine-minute mark, it’s over too soon. The dreamy “Under Every Tree in England” similarly shapeshifts as a noodling guitar sample gives way to a playfully mysterious marimba hook, gliding over its relaxed seven minutes with a confident stride. Miracle in Transit’s best moments are like marathons that induce delirious trance states so absorbing, it’s hard to imagine raving any other way.

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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.
Naked Flames - Miracle in Transit Music Album Reviews Naked Flames - Miracle in Transit Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 09, 2022 Rating: 5


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