- Jul 14, 2020
- The Philippines
Listen On Spotify
It’s been seven years - and some long ones at that - since Solarstone last designed and constructed an ‘Electronic Architecture’. While ‘EAs’ 1 thru ‘3' maintained a regular release pulse, with each year that followed 2014, the series’ absence has been felt evermore acutely.
Whilst never down to one factor, Pure Trance’s capturing of the scene’s zeitgeist, and the unchecked success that followed played no small part. Like ‘island’ (last year’s out-of-nowhere Solarstone LP), its return though is down to something far more appreciable. The last twelve months have brought a step change in electronic music needs and with ‘Pure Trance’ receiving a well-earned mix-sabbatical last autumn, it’s allowed the cultural time, space and climate for something many had consigned to Solarstone legacy.
Aside from the pulsingly positive multi-coloured lights that emanate from within its cube, the ‘Arthitecture’ of the fourth ‘Architecture’ is visibly more brutalist & current-day resonant than its predecessors. Its musical remit though remains timelessly unchanged. Tonally & thematically, ‘EA4’ owns the equidistant middleground between the ‘Northern Exposure’ and ‘Renaissance’ albums. Never seeing the electronica-extremes of the former, nor quite as floor-intense as the latter, their progressivism hits the perfect median between.
Despite being offered as a physical item (how could something this beautiful not!), digitally ‘Electronic Architecture 4’ has been devised as a start-through-finish listening experience. The new nonpareil of the kick-back-‘n-musically-trip encounter, its soundscape has few – if any - modern parallels.
As ever the musical backbone of this new release is made up of creatives who’ve cut their teeth on previous Solarstone projects and new talent, freshly recruited to its ranks. In regard to the former, new music resounds from the likes of Lostly, Basil O’Glue, Stoneface & Terminal, Super-Frog Saves Tokyo, Forerunners, Nick Silvestri and others. To its new-talent-latter meanwhile, Solarstone has gone further than ever before in uncovering it. As well as welcoming an influx of new music through the front door, he scoured the Internet’s forum-highways & Bandcamp-byways in search of promise. When he found it - even in its most embryonic form, no effort was spared to cultivate it for ‘EA4’. Case in point, ‘Equilibrium’ - the album’s penultimate track. Nominally a one-minute software demo from technologist Dreams Of Wires, Solarstone worked with just the briefest of melody ideas to bring Dreams his first fully realised production.
Whilst on its comeback-track, ‘Electronic Architecture’ experienced more than its fair share of stars-aligning moments. Halfway into production, regular Solarstone collaborator Alucard announced the end of his retirement by dropping an album’s worth of material into ‘EA’s demo box - several of which found their way into its mix. Richard also stumbled across a twelve-year-old ‘lost-tape’ track from Vincent Lewis (who – fact-fans - went on to direct Solarstone’s ‘Electric Love’ video!). In essence a musical time capsule dating back to ‘EA’s most embryonic times, ‘Pulse Train’ became part of the album’s opening stages. ‘We're Descending’ - Lostly’s stunning latest - arrived within hours of Rich needing something to further a moodier tranche, whilst opening track ‘Lament’ by Super-Frog Saves Tokyo’s landed a day after the project commenced. In timely fashion the album also hosts new Solarstone production ‘Pale Blue Dot’, his & Orkidea’s sixth ‘Slowmotion’ and Kryder’s desk-hot remix of ‘island’s ‘When I Dream’.
Key as ever to ‘Electronic Architecture’s constitution are Solarstone’s own Reconstructions - eleven of which feature over the duration. Not remixes, re-edits or re-imaginings exactly, they are versions that bring incredible tracks into line with the series’ sonic ethic, as Richard does everything from tweak to wholesale reconfigure them to fit.
01. Super-Frog Saves Tokyo - Lament
02. Nick Silvestri - Little Things
03. Vincent Lewis - Pulse Train
04. Xabiso - Children Of The Night (EA4 Reconstruction)
05. Andrei Zinca - Wildflower (EA4 Reconstruction)
06. V-Ti - Space Dogs (EA4 Reconstruction)
07. Passive Progressive feat. Sentient Mullet - Fluke (EA4 Reconstruction)
08. Forerunners - Sunreturn
09. Solarstone - When I Dream (Kryder Remix)
10. Basil O'Glue & Nomas - Untold
11. Solarstone & Bill McGruddy - Take Me On Your Flight (Acapella)
12. DISCO19 - The Sea Of Stars (EA4 Reconstruction)
13. Solarstone - Pale Blue Dot
14. Lostly - We're Descending (EA4 Reconstruction)
15. Solarstone & Orkidea - Slowmotion VI
16. Coredata - 94 (EA4 Reconstruction Part One)
01. Coredata - 94 (EA4 Reconstruction Part Two)
02. MK8 - Breathe
03. Men-D - Dropped By The Gods (EA4 Reconstruction)
04. Stowers & Cooper feat. Brooke Woods - Shattered Skies (Acapella)
05. Alucard - Midway
06. Gary Afterlife - Wavering Light (EA4 Reconstruction)
07. ZOYA - Bright Star (EA4 Reconstruction)
08. Shadow Realm - Other Side Of The Sky
09. Martin LeBlanc - Lagom
10. Glynn Alan - Limitless
11. Super-Frog Saves Tokyo - Kyoto (EA4 Reconstruction)
12. Macker - Lost In Space (Simon Bostock Remix)
13. Stoneface & Terminal - Lose My Need (EA4 Reconstruction)
14. Solarstone & Dreams Of Wires - Equilibrium
15. Alucard - Phoenix