Released around the middle of last month, The Illusion of a New Beginning marks the first release for the Portugal-based electronic artist Soundphaser on the newly formed Audionautic Label. While the guys over at Audionautic have been running a podcast, mix show, and YouTube show in which they discuss all things audio, the foray into running their own label is relatively new by comparison and looks to be off to a great start. This release also happens to be the first artist outside of the Audionautic venture to be released on the label.
What immediately stands out is the marked difference in this EP compared to Soundphaser's previous work. It's not that he has particularly changed his sound or style, but you can definitely hear the influence that the Audionautic team had on the production of the album, directly or indirectly. This can be most prominently heard in the second track "Process" due to the direct contribution of Sunwarper's signature guitar stylings. Aside from this direct influence, the album is littered with spoken word vocal samples throughout that cover all manner of psychedelic topics, which seems to be a new technique compared to his previous work.
Despite these new facets of his music, the core of his sound is very much there throughout, distinguished by soft Rhodes piano chords and swelling pads that envelope your ears and brain in a warm, pleasant fuzz. These aural delights are punctuated by relaxed rhythms played out on a variety of percussion. For instance, on "Process" we are treated to tight and crisp beats that occupy less space but fit subtly into the mix whereas on "Electric Phase" we are treated to an almost live-sounding set of drums that push out a relaxed and swung beat that drops in and out. And of course, both tracks give us that Rhodes sound that Soundphaser is so fond of with varying levels of delay and phaser.
The name of this EP is incredibly fitting considering its musical content. It can at first seem that he is trying to start anew. But when you listen to what he has created here compared to his previous work, the connections are readily apparent. Soundphaser hasn't started over, he's building wonderfully on his prior work.