Thor: Ragnarok has two different battle scenes set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” and if I could put both of them on this list, I would. Instead, this week’s picks are below. More »
Truly original art is a rare find in today’s musical landscape. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, as it’s one of the main features that makes the study of art so fascinating.
With a tasteful collection of influences under his belt, French producer Rhodz is one such artist who embodies this principle. Rhodz has championed a chic electronic pop style that, combined with his bright production, offers a well-developed structure that speaks to his sincerity as an artist. His brand new album, Fading Horizon, sifts through many layers of emotions, digging deep into his and his collaborators’ creative intelligence to create a colorful journey from start to finish.
Rhodz starts out Fading Horizon strong with “Polygon,” a collaboration with Filipino singer-songwriter and film composer Pipo Fernandez. Almost immediately, a number of his influences come to light. The lead synth sounds are reminiscent of Madeon, which could also be said about the overall structure of many of the tracks on the album. Also, many aspects of the drop are reminiscent of Porter Robinson, particularly the prominent arpeggios and “wall of sound” heard in Porter’s remix of “The Thrill” by Nero.
The title track of the album uses many of the same sounds and themes from “Polygon.” The vocals of Pipo Fernandez bring the top line again, while producer Auvic joins in with his spectacular skills on the piano. “Fading Horizon” helps build the epic feeling that permeates through most of Fading Horizon.
This energy is most prominently felt in the first three pieces, peaking in the third track, “Cut It Free.” Adam Tell, an electro-pop producer and vocalist from Des Moines, Iowa, pitches in for “Cut It Free,” and helps provide the generous portion of bass and rousing vocal performance that give the track its unique flavor.
While the styles that make up the first half of the album are not as prominent in the latter half, the uplifting elements continue to be an important driving force. Starting with “Rain Machine,” Rhodz creates more comfortable, warm aesthetics with ambient instruments and sounds.
The themes from the first part of Fading Horizon taper off in “Gimmick,” and are almost completely gone in “Floating On Your Memories,” a dreamy break from the real world that leads the listener into the final track, “Time Out.” A collaboration with fellow French producer, J.A.C.K., who has make a name for himself with monumental remixes of Disclosure, C2C, and Stromae, “Time Out,” finishes off the LP on a melancholy note — an apt conclusion to Fading Horizon’s thematic development.