If you’ve been following any of the Visionquesters (known to their mothers as Seth Troxler, Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss) over the last few years, you may not have predicted that their first label releases would sound quite like they do. Although the quartet are well know practitioners of house and techno in both their DJ sets and their own charismatic productions, it’s r&b which loomed large over VQ001 and now pop music is the predominant force throughout VQ002. Having said that, I suppose it isn’t all that surprising that the free-spirited Detroit ex-pats have instead chosen to champion structured ‘songs’ which last, in place of zeitgeist surfing house or techno ‘tracks’ that so often don’t.
And so to this EP, Utopia, which comes from Montreal duo Footprintz, AKA Addy Weitzman and Maurice Knecht – a duo who’ve clearly had an ear on developments at NYC disco stable DFA as much as on lo-fi indie outfits of a dream pop predilection if the aesthetics of their two enchanting offerings here are anything to go by. The title track is awash with a warm breeze, the cheery pluck of a melodious guitar and a rose tinted vocal poetry which transports you straight to a lazy sunny lawn a million miles away from the humid struggle of a dancefloor… it’s pure, verse/chorus bliss.
‘Golden Dreams’ is the counterpoint – a more unsettled ride through colder, dramatic 80s synth crashes which is pinned-down by a heavy hearted beat. Vocal harmonies add some warmth and twinkling, piercing keys distract from the otherwise very present sense of forlornness. Despite their sonic feyness – there’s nothing imposing or macho about these tracks – there’s an emotional resonance in their delicate waves.
Ewan Pearson’s ‘The Legend of Bolo Brown Re-Trip’ closes out this three track sonic day dream with raspier textures and a subby throb. The background pricks, twists and shrills which pepper the track make for a druggy alertness not present in the originals and, as a result, make them ripe for the freakier hours of any decent after party.
Kristan J Caryl for AUTOBRENNT