Magenta Room - Centers of Distraction
Released: June 16
On this recent release through Vivarium Recordings, Gareth Sloan shows off his pronounced knack for combining multiple genres into one incredibly cohesive album. Combining smooth vaporwave inspired synth with punchy downtempo drums and even sprinkling in some lush field recordings for good measure, Sloan takes us through a dreamlike journey that gives off vibes of walking down neon-bathed streets of future cities. What's more, this journey feels rather seamless throughout the entire runtime with minimal pauses and only passing moments of soothing ambiance to punctuate the more rhythmic pieces.
The album opens up with punchy but laid back percussion and some airy synths on "Among Moneta" before the track morph into something with a more intense vibe of futuristic Noir. Many of the tracks have this polished and punchy percussion, but we are also given a few ambient-leaning pieces interspersed between some of the tracks, such as "Ty Isaf" with its arpeggiated synth playing out of top of dreamy synths joined by a lighter bit of percussion only right at the very end. Later on, we are also treated to something almost purely ambient on "The Sunshine Roof Opens," which consists of slowly oscillating and warbling pads that feel like floating in the clouds at dusk. These little breaks add a perfect amount of variety and spice to the album as a whole and fit in perfectly among the tracks that lean heavier into futuristic beats and synths. As I listen, I feel a story developing, something akin to a not-too-dystopian futuristic crime film and I truly enjoy its aesthetic.