Even though I started making it way back in 2009, this one deserves a mention here, because it was released this June. Ah, the fuss it caused then because of its indulgent sampling! Oh, the high scores all of the close friends of mine gave to it! Uh, the way I squared it off with The Bermuda Triangle’s “Wonderland” – which is one of the best this year that I have listened to in full. But seriously, “Desolate & Stardust” is so far the best long form collection of my stuff, that takes on a lot of things and mostly succeeds. “Hold Me” which was done with The Daunting is still the best song I’ve ever made. – DJ Future Sphere
One of the albums I previously listed that were the best of 2010 was this album. Yes, there was a fuss over the sampling, and at this point, I’m not going to reveal what I’ve found out about the samples. If you know what the samples are, good for you. Otherwise, if you don’t, it’s quite alright, because the samples here fit nicely with DJ Future Sphere’s disco basslines and house beats. In fact, I don’t know what the big problem is with sampling. Sometimes, I agree that the artists sampled should receive royalties, whereas other times, I think that you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to sample artists, and instead just go straight to the artist themselves, and pay them royalties. I’ve had a hard time understanding it all, personally. For this review, though, I’m going to just be neutral on the whole controversy, sit by the sidelines, and just look at the album as it truly is: just some good, fun music to listen to.
Also, just to get a little into the back story of all of this: DJ Future Sphere is a music producer from Ukraine. His influences range widely from recent indie music, shoegaze music, classic ambient and techno producers, French house music, outsider music, punk music, and classic rock bands such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Needless to say, this album is a great addition to the French/deep house genres, as well as glitch and ambient genres.
The album starts off with the beautifully produced “Intro”, full of lush pads and sweet arpeggios. However, the second track, “Liquid Kiss”, is kind of trying to replicate Boards of Canada. Though it can’t replicate the sweet low-fi that BoC uses, it does succeed in creating the slow tempos, trip-hop beats, and sweet ambient pads. A great start to the album, though it doesn’t foreshadow what is to come.
“Running Away From Love” is one of those tracks where disco is sampled along with house beats and sweet basslines. The track is just awesome, reminding us of how disco used to sound. Very Daft Punk sounding as well, since DJ Future Sphere is very much influenced by Daft Punk. Also, “Retro Technique” is where DJ Future Sphere creates his own disco. The bassline on this track is what I love the most, along with all the rhythms, pads, and arpeggios. Quite possibly, and strangely, one of my favorite tracks off the album.
“Matrix Veil” is kind of an ambient interlude, with pads, a minimalist bassline, and lots of glitch sounds. Not much to say here. The next track, “Padz,” is an obvious club banger that could appeal to the many night clubbers out there. Also, “Maybe Tomorrow” is yet another ambient interlude, though the piano makes this interlude worth listening to.
The next 3 tracks, “Four Seasons of Love,” “I’ll Never Find You,” and “Hold Me,” which features The daunting with some beautiful vocals and lyrics, are some of the best tracks on the album. “Four Seasons of Love” samples an obvious 70s disco track, but creates a new house beat to compliment it. The result is a fun, groovy track that is worth repeated listens. “I’ll Never Find You” has yet more samples, along with house beats, a bassline, some pads and arpeggios. My favorite part of this track, along with “Four Seasons of Love”, is how DJ Future Sphere can split up samples to create new rhythms that maybe no one would have thought of before. It’s simply stunning. And obviously, “Hold Me”, which is the official single of the album, is a great track. Enough said. Highly recommended listening.
“The Token” is yet another glitch ambient interlude, which actually sounds like clocks. “Sunset Beach” is a track that yet again samples a disco track, but recontextualizes it into a house track for our generation, and the generations to come. Also a bit trippy as well. Also, “Padz (Reprise)” is just the ambient outro for the album, but ends the album on a happy and satisfying note.
Overall, “Desolate and Stardust” is one of the best albums of 2010. Many good things about the album overall, and I don’t think this review comes even close to giving the album justice. Though the ambient parts could have been shortened, or even thrown out together, still, they create more of the soundscape of the album, even sometimes sounding like they were cut from the same realm of the house tracks. A great album indeed.
Album: Desolate and Stardust
Artist: DJ Future Sphere
Genre: French House/Ambient-Glitch
Released 2010 by Anclear Records
Download the album here: http://anclearrecords.bandcamp.com/album/desolate-stardust