Legendary Aquarius Records on Cancerboy
My dear friends of legendary Aquarius Records in San Francisco about Cancerboy. Thank you so much!!
The last Glitterbug record showed up in the midst of some sort of electronica renaissance, with fantastic new records from Pantha Du Prince, Actress, Klimek, T++ (sad we haven’t heard anything else from them/him) and a bunch more, so Glitterbug, the work of a German DJ/producer fit perfectly with all of those, the sound lush and layered, softly psychedelic, cosmic with a definitely Pop Ambient vibe. We played that record to death. This record looks to follow suit, but unlike that first one, which was more a full self contained sound world, woven from both studio work and live recordings, this record, Cancerboy, is a much more personal collection, focusing on Glitterbug’s struggle with cancer as a boy (hence the title). The record even starts off with what sounds like the ambient sound of a hospital room, the wheezing and beeping of machines, the voices of doctors and nurses, which gives way to the opening track “To Guess”, which takes some of those sounds and weaves them into a dark, droney stretch of moody electronic melancholia, a hushed rhythmic shuffle, warm shimmery drones, little flecks of glitchery here and there, a super simple kick drum pulse, tinkling chimes, and ethereal melodies, quite haunting and cinematic, and an appropriately somber opening for a record with such a dark focus. But the darkness is not all encompassing, the record slips into more sort of Kompakt style minimal techno on “Abyss”, a grid of pulse and click, wreathed in dark melodic swirls and brooding low end thrum, but as the song progresses, the melodies percolate wildly, the song grows more distorted and the vibe more frantic.
“Undertow” brings it back down, another Kompakt style shuffle, a woozy moody robotic groove, laced with a spidery minor key melody, the beats and loops in constant flux, sometimes sleek and clinical, other times noisy and rough around the edges, the vibe definitely cool and late night, but seemingly always underpinned by a melancholia that infuses the whole record. Much of the record could very well pass for some modern minimal techno, not knowing the background or the source of the title, but the record is rife with tracks that are a bit more moody and brooding, tracks that peel back the skitter and stutter to reveal the darkness underneath, like on “From Here On”, that loops a strange echo drenched hand clap beat, and then drapes it with thick washes of low end rumble and waves of metallic buzz, as well as some delicate chiming melodies, or on “Dragged Along”, which is a hushed sprawl of super spare dubbed out ambience, that skitters amidst vast swirls of barely there sonic shimmer, only coalescing into a proper beat near the end, and even then, wreathed in wistful melodies, or on “Outside My Window”, which is a lush collage of tangled beats and murky swirling melodies and blurred psychedelic textures, that seem to gradually bleed into one another.