It’s all led up to here. Clues, cues, codes and a breadcrumb trail of dots and dashes – have finally given way to the intriguing, fascinating opacity of Solarstone’s new artist album ‘. – – – -’, which has just dropped. No better time than the present to finally get a closer look at what he’s been up to all these studio months then!
‘. – – – -’ begins with a style that oozes cinematic appeal, with ‘Leap Of Faith’s cursively sweeping synths and analogue/sci-fi-esque FX. Complete with an intriguing narrative-style vocal, over seven minutes ‘Leap’ takes us on a journey that’s as pulsating as it is absorbing, a masterpiece of deep space prog-trance.
The track leads right into the shimmering intro pianos of ‘Eclipse’. Its prowling tempo & tone, low-end bass resonance and sleekly minimalistic physique cast the album’s shadows’ long.
Through ‘Untitled Love’, vocals make their first appearance on ‘. – – – -’ … and in quite an extraordinary fashion. The track, which is a collaboration between Rich and Stockholm-based duo Rabbii – is tonally brilliant, and fit for some Bjork comparisons to be made. Having previously teamed up on 2011’s ‘Breakaway’, ‘. – – – -’ sees Rich reunite with US singer Alex Karweit, who brings an indie-rock-ish lean to ‘Choosing His Angels’.
Offering some more insight into what lies behind the album’s concept, Solarstone said: “All of my favourite ‘coffee-table’ albums create an atmosphere. A vibe, which runs throughout, with no sudden fractious mood changes. Those are my go-to records when I’m in a certain state of mind; the ones I come back to and play over & over again. This is the intention with ‘. – – – -‘: to immerse the listener in a collection which stands up to, nay, even calls for repeated plays. The music comes from the deeper side of my sound and is the first signal of something altogether bigger.”
Re-acquaintances don’t end with Karweit and ‘Choosing His Angels’. ‘. – – – -‘ also sees Solarstone and sonic soul-mate Orkidea reconvene to brilliantly continue their ‘Slowmotion’ odyssey. Again cast from a classically progressive sound-set, the charged, resolute drums of ‘Slowmotion IV’ beat the path to its captivating mainline chime and hymnal vocal harmonies. More vocal esoterica follows from Meredith Call on the soon-to-be-single ‘I Found You’. Current outing – the (per Dancing Astronaut) “ethereal”, “timeless” (DJ Mag) ‘A State Of Mind’ takes its position in the latter stages of the album. Closing ‘. – – – -’ in genuinely epic fashion are the arcane breakbeats and swirled atmosphere of ‘Cafuné’. Its drop delivers a gradually unfolding sunrise of empyrean strings, quixotic vocals and cyanic synths.
Oh, and if you’d like a further clue as to ‘. – – – -’s grander plan, this handy Morse code link translator will surely offer you a great, big, whacking one!
01. Leap Of Faith (7:02)
02. Eclipse (6:03)
03. Untitled Love (with Rabbii) (5:21)
04. Choosing His Angels (with Alex Karweit) (4:41)
05. Slowmotion IV (with Orkidea) (6:44)
06. I Found You (with Meredith Call) (5:11)
07. A State Of Mind (7:30)
08. Cafuné (8:00)