Posted at 16:07h
in Album Reviews
It feels like Charles Murdoch’s debut album Point has been a long time coming. The Brisbane producer first made waves in 2013 with a remix of a track by the then-blowing-up Flume, and since then his growth as an artist and producer have been expansive. The proof of this more mature, developed sound can be heard within Point.
Released via Future Classic, Point feels like a good fit for the label, its evolving and forward-thinking sounds gelling well with the range of electronic releases the label has become known for. It is by no means, however, an expected or even safe release on their behalf. On Point, Murdoch pushes to engage the listener through subtle, delicate, and considered production. There are no exuberant ‘drops’ or stand out ‘radio plays’; instead, we’re presented with a collection of musical concepts that play out in a way as to give an indication of the consideration that went into them.
No doubt much of this consideration was done through the process of collaboration as many of the album’s tracks feature one or more artists. On opening track ‘Nothing For You (feat. KUČKA)’, deep, stirring bass forms a perfect counter weight to KUČKA’s light vocals throughout a song that sets up the listener for what to expect from the remaining tracks.
This is quickly followed by a stand out from the album, ‘Frogs (feat. Ta-ku, Wafia & Hak)’. This coming together of four musical minds is apparent in the different movements the track flows through, from the driving vocals of Wafia, the wonky production of Ta-Ku and the darker, disjointed rap from Hak. The art of such a collaboration is to make these elements work together; on ‘Frogs’, they certainly do.
Chloe Kaul lends a unique vocal sound on the ethereal ‘Open’ and another highlight ‘Fray’. The vocal layering she has developed through her work in Kllo is clearly put to good use as ‘Fray’ grows to its climax.
‘Privacy (feat. Oscar Key Sung)’ makes an instant impression upon first listen through its combination of smooth RnB vocal rhythms over a dark and spacious bottom end. This notion is continued in the equally-striking duet with Oscar Key Sung and Banoffee, ‘Back To It’. Both artists bounce seamlessly off each other as their vocals pair together beautifully.
Solo productions on the album such as ‘Wash’ and ‘Straws’ create a perfect change of pace and allow the listener to get lost in the richness of the production on display. ‘Wash’ is perhaps the most abstract moment on the album, but gives Murdoch a chance to explore new sounds and directions perhaps not possible with the weight of a vocal top line. This freedom makes for interesting listening. The wonky lead synth line of ‘Straws’ rides effortless over the growing body of the track and provides one of the more danceable moments on a very solid album.
Point is out now via Future Classic