The Gibraltarians - Out in the Sticks
Released: August 4
Working under his pseudonym of The Gibraltarians, Patrick Hogan continues his foray into a lo-fi type of house music with his latest album Out in the Sticks. Having heard some of his work from years ago, I hear a somewhat different direction in his newest works. Where some of his previous work had a bit more of a straightforward approach to house and techno, this new direction seems to blend elements of vaporwave aesthetics into it rather seamlessly. Airy synths and stabs drenched in delays bring the melodic elements while low bit rate percussion brings light rhythmic workings in. The rhythms are universally present, but never allowed to overtake the track with bombastic bass hits or overly snappy snares. Rather, everything is covered in this lovely light layer of fuzz and dust that gives a charming quality to each track.
Among the seven tracks on this album, are a few that really stood out. First off, there's "FREQ" (Kanji symbols omitted here), which has this entirely captivating female vocal lead giving a beautiful yet wordless harmonization to the track. It is also on of the tracks here that illustrates Hogan's affinity for playing loosely with rhythmic timing between the percussion, synths, and vocals. "LIMIT TECH" is another example of Hogan's creative use of vocals, this time giving us something much more breathy and intimate as it interplays with the reverb-drenched synthwork also present on this track. Finally, there's "SHOCKER" which brings in those delay-soaked stabs that bounce from side to side in the track as the wrap themselves around the most relaxed and slow-paced rhythm that can be found on the album. The album as a whole presents an interesting combination of aesthetic choice that meld together surprisingly well.