CD REVIEW: FUTR3 - LEvel Up (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Synth City Records
Genre: Electronica, BPM, Chill-out, Dub, Ambient, House, Techno
Sounds Like: Tiësto, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, deadmau5, Kaskade
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Weakness: EP Releases, more live instrumentation layers, more solo-type segments.
From the East coast to the West coast, one of the industry’s
fastest rising artists is back again to capture the ears and hearts of
electronic music fans everywhere with his brand new EP, Level Up. Currently
residing between Los Angeles and Los Vegas, FUTR3 brings an eclectic variety of
influences and experience to the table with each and every track he produces.
The Level Up EP is an epic explosion deriving all your favorite old video game
sounds into a dance floor frenzy. We start off with the Electro banger “1Up”
where your body will ignite and have no choice but to get down. We then move
into the brilliant melodic bliss of breaks with “Princess.”
Synth City Records is an Electronic/Indie
Dance record label. It is the brainchild of a crew of Los Angeles-based DJs and
Producers who seek to forge their own paths in an ever-changing industry.
The CD blasts off with ‘1Up” an ambient intro piece that serves up industrial-type rhythms, with pulsating moog bass painted against a colorful canvass of music and vivid sound that comes at you from every which direction. Track 2 “Princess” presents a kaleidoscope of colorful sound featuring dynamic rhythms, and vivid melody that that flow and ebbs its way through fruition. By track 2 you realize FUTR3 may be on to something here as these recordings that are all diamonds in the rough – but diamonds nonetheless. Track 3 1 Up (Heavygrinder Remix) pushes hard with its pulsating moog vibe, against sinister yet mesmerizing keyboard and synthesizer accents with hypnotic walls of sound that are infectious and hypnotic. I especially like the amazing finale ending of this third piece. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear musical comparables to Tiësto, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, deadmau5, Kaskade. What's more I can hear so many elements of Trance, BMP, Ambient, Techno, Chill, Dub & House rhythms painted against a clever canvass of NES type gaming sound effects and dense sonic layering. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from low end beats, thick swirling, pulsating moog bass and rhythms, to pulsating moog and bass segments, to ambient synthesizer and keyboard accents layered along the way. You will also notice keyboards, percussive accents and exotic phased sampling layered in the music. The songs themselves are extremely unique, highly original, and in itself a brilliantly clever. The sound-scapes are interesting, infectious, and hypnotic. The grooves and rhythms are thick and the ambient accents are well placed and flow and ebb extremely well song for song. The EP also provides ample musical peak and valley as well creating a suspenseful, yet wild ride nonetheless. The EP has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing an impressive songwriting core craft. It’s definitely a dynamic and progressive musical statement that will make many in the PBM culture extremely happy.
I typically deduct 1 start for EP releases. The full length release is the best and most complete artistic to judge an artist by at any given point in time. It's fair to say the EP is a bit one-dimensional – I would recommend incorporating more in the way of live instrumentation here and there to and an extra "live" dimension to the music. Things like solo guitar, distorted guitar, live drums and percussion, sonic piano, sonic trumpet and saxophone, and additional solo segments.
Overall this release from FUTR3 is actually quite exhilarating. Make no bones about it – this EP took some time to craft and piece together and is in itself has a great deal of sonic layering. It has much in the way of potential in the sense that BPM crowd will die over, but equally as impressive are the hypnotic dance grooves, low end rhythms and beats that come with the musical territory. This will also appeal to those who enjoy Techno, and House-type music. Finally there are even elements of ambient, chill-out & dub music making FUTR3 sort of a triple threat musically. The EP works best for those who want musical ambience to fill their sonic space. I found the listening experience quite refreshing, highly original and unique. It fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. It flows extremely well song for song and note for note. FUTR3 is a force to be reckoned with if he can incorporate some upgrades into his overall sound.