Espher – Ultraviolet

In creating Ultraviolet, Manchester producer Ben Pearson has created an LP that rivals the majestic, electronic sounds of Bonobo or Four Tet, on his debut release.

Released, 21st July 2017, Ramber Records.

Not only is Ultraviolet an auditory experience from start to finish, the visuals that Pearson has provided throughout the entire LP truly amplifies it to a completely different level, whether this is from his music videos for Orchid, or more recently Mångata, or the explosion of colour that is the LP’s cover art. The visual choices for Ultraviolet make its experience that much more intense, that anyone who says otherwise is clearly missing the point of this entire LP.

Lead single Orchid is as affected by colour as the visuals for its accompanying video are affected by Orchid’s upbeat electronica sound. Lucid layers of dreamy synths are piled on top of overly vigorous bass kicks as Pearson dives towards the edge of Vaporwave, before swiftly returning to his master-crafted world of electronica.

Throughout all of Ultraviolet, the visceral notion of colour being a key component to Pearson’s music isn’t one that requires any prior knowledge of the producer’s music. Opening track Zenith, with its running time amassing over 8 minutes, is the sort of music that would have set Windows Media Player’s visual background into a complete frenzy. Calamitous bass roars deeply underneath a wave of rising synths, growing dramatically before descending into the deeper depths of heavy electro, that of which Victor Love or Owl Vision could easily provide an equally impressive remix to this gargantuan track.

While high praise must be given for Ultraviolets cinematic approach to electronica, especially on tracks Within, Together, Mångata and Guardian, all of which capture the same essence of emotion that soundtracks for films such as Drive and Tron managed over multiple songs, Pearson’s love for all that is electronica is clearly evident across this entire LP.

Sufi is the first real taste of electronica that is made purely for those who wish only to dance but still remain in physical awe of the music that is driving their legs. With its near techno sound that edges between house friendly electro and underground rave-worthy status, Sufi would easily find a home in the European techno capital of Berlin, with its industrial vibes.

Hypersleep similarly matches Sufi, however, delivers itself as a pure house track, tripping on multiple forms of techno and post-rave music. With an introduction that combines the craziness of Benny Boeldt’s video game electronica, with Owl Visions death-electro, Hypersleep perfectly captures the idea of bright white light awakening the darkness of the nether, before descending into a eutopic display of flashing neons and dimly lit dance floors that ravers across the world would love to call home.

From the monolith of an opener Zenith, where there are as many different layers as there are colours on Ultraviolet’s cover, to the ethereal realms of closing moment Guardian, Ultraviolet’s cinematic soundscapes are a work of art, while its lust for electronica that is more focused on moving bodies rather than minds, is just as impressive to piece together, especially with tracks Sufi, Orchid and Hypersleep taking reign. Ultraviolet is as much as an experience as any Oscar worthy film, or Grammy nominated LP and deservedly will be rewarded with continous playthroughs for years to come.

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