Operating under the moniker Vacant Party, Dubliner Shane Murphy recently released his début electronic offering, ‘Myths’. Though a lo-Fi/bedroom-beats offering – not helped by alot of Greek reference seeming randomly tacked on for song titles – anyone looking for a good dose of atmospheric electronica can drop whatever they are holding and give this a listen.
Opener Echo is a rake of overlapping synth, sounds like it took as long to make as it takes to listen to and, despite its introduction of the album’s synth-heavy aspect, is unnecessary in the extreme. Harmonia is initially disconcerting, with admonitory synths sounding a bit all over the place, but falls into a steady 120-banger, kept afloat by a looping synth warble and a bassline that sounds like it’s played on a flippy-spring you get on skirting boards. An album highlight for sure.
Orpheus marks the beginning of something a little different from the albums first half. It rolls in on a cloud of white noise before a heavily distorted beat gets to work, with tick-tock piano stabs retaining the tension throughout, lending the whole track a Zombie-Movie-Soundtrack quality that’s fantastic. Though a bit jarring at first in it’s D-I-Y beat-plus-distortion, it rewards repeated listens and stands as one of ‘Myths’’ finer cuts.
Aura is a little repetitive, a simple beat writ large, with all manner of thundering booms and crashes accompanying. Erebus opens with some lovely, almost trip-hop beats. The synth does well here, but is highly pitched and a little distracting. The whole track rather sounds like an exercise with stacatto, stabby synths, though don’t sound like they’re doing what Mr. Murphy wants them to do.
The album closer, Chronos, only reaches the two minute mark, which is a little disappointing as its different parts make up a great rhythm and foundation for more to be done, which might make it a microcosm of ‘Myths’ as a whole; a decent effort with some good ideas, but only taken so far. Many tracks sound like they are awaiting further tweaking and development, like research exercises for something bigger and more ambitious. Let’s hope that to be the case, but for now fans of D-I-Y electronica should get their hands on ‘Myths’. Its lo-fi production is evident throughout, and it hits as often as it misses, but when it works, it works really well. Give it a listen.