Public Releases hits the lab for some aural alchemy and to turn out its first release of 2017. A four-tracker from Moscow’s Phil Gerus, Scenes—or, in the producer’s native Russian, сцены—manages to have a makeup that’s both peculiar and magnetic.
The title’s a fitting one; every track feels like a vignette in a collection of short stories. Separately, they’re self-contained, but a rich narrative arch is added when they’re sewn together. If there is a theme here, it’s of viewing the future through the dusty lens of the past, and each of the songs explores this in its own fashion.
The kick-off, “Ohashi Sky Garden,” starts as a hyped-up Italo space epic, pumped full of swirling synth licks and sharp, tight drums, but it mutates into something completely its own when vocal samples (90s R&B?) and warm keys (prog rock Rhodes?) enter. After the original’s brisk five minutes, the legendary Richard Sen—graffiti guy, breaks guy, house guy, disco guy, half-of-Padded-Cell guy—steps in to give it a trance-y tinge while doubling its runtime and adding a dancefloor-destroying Hi-NRG coloration.
The B begins with “Naha Swim,” a crunchy funk foot-stomper that might as well be an unreleased Idjut Boys or Ray Mang ditty dug up from the Noid catacombs. Fiery and furious, yet utterly cheeky. Serving as a sort of coda to “Naha” is “Kiss of a Kind,” a Gerus take on 80s adult contemporary, replete with sleazy sax and sensual pads. A gentle nightcap to a zigzagging, antic 12-inch.
Published: 8th February 2017