Flora FM: EP 12″ (Vanity Press, 2018) + Discovery In The Atomic Garden (Argot, 2018)

August 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Flora FM: EP 12″

Taylor Hawkins (not the Foo Fighter) impressed the Crush Collision staff of the early ’10s with his guest DJ set, then became quite buzzed-about with his releases under the name Community Corporation. After moving to Seattle, he’s now going by Flora FM, an appropriate name for such a bright, colorful style of techno with fluid synths, lightly choppy breaks, and a general sunniness as well as spaciness. His long-awaited Vanity Press EP instantly impresses, starting with the joyous birdsong breaks of “Elm Bully”, then going a tad darker with the night cruiser “Highline Amber”. On the other side, “Comet Xterra” has complex electro beats surrounded by splashy vibrations. “Artificial Limb Company”, the final track, might just be the best one, with more upbeat, gliding melodies and steady but detailed beats. Yet another unmissable Vanity Press release.

Flora FM: Discovery In The Atomic Garden

Discovery In The Atomic Garden is Hawkins’ first full-length, although the vinyl version is just a truncated EP, and it’s released on Argot, which put out a previous Community Corporation record. This one is along the same lines, musically and quality-wise. There’s the bright hues, flashing/whistling/bending synths, detailed electro and house beats, and it ticks some of the retro boxes but doesn’t get bogged in nostalgia and still sounds fresh. “Eternal Huron Shadows” slips in some acid synth lines and haunting vocals. “Near Petal Field” is the 10-minute centerpiece, taking its time to introduce new beats and nuances. “Degenerative Wave” is just so upbeat and spirited and fun. “Q Horned Column” is a bit rougher electro, with bass surges and a vaguely spooky atmosphere. “Gamma Gum” is kind of sweet and chewy but a little bit melancholy.

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