Arp Pulsars E Quasars on LP
Alexis Georgopoulos aka Arp has always approached recordings with a conceptual bent. Imbued with an expansive sense of music history – he's written about pop and avant-garde music for i-D (UK), V, ANP Quarterly, BOMB, Fader, and Vice – he has a penchant for doing the unexpected and refusing to take part in the fleeting pop trends of the given day in favor of pursuing a more adventurous trajectory. Georgopoulos made 2013 full–length More primarily by himself. The endeavor took time. With 2014's Pulsars e Quasars, he wanted to work quickly. He asked a few friends to join him in the studio.
And while the same nuanced attention to detail that characterized More is present here, there is a looser, slightly more drugged–out, live band quality present here. As the title infers, there is a ‘cosmic' quality to Pulsars e Quasars – in a sense, it draws a link to his earlier cosmic synth work, albeit reclaiming and redefining it in a pop songwriting context. Opener "Suns" sets the tone. And it glows. A bracing current of electricity, it's a slate – cleaner, an improvised transmission capturing the group sound of this temporary ensemble in motion.
"Pulsars e Quasars," the title–track and lead single, is a lysergic rush, a kaleidoscopic bite of psychedelic Anglophile pop. Settling into his singing voice – most of his earlier albums were primarily instrumental – his voice finds a comfortable spot between the narcotic resplendence of George Harrison and the delicacy of Broadcast's Trish Keenan. The music, meanwhile, opens swathed in phased guitars before building into a prismatic, melodic fuzzed out mass. A tune that might just become a make-out classic.
"Chromatiques II (Extended Mix), mixed in collaboration with Jefre Cantu–Ledesma bleaches "Pulsars" into a sunkissed haze that you might want to go on forever. If, when it ends, you wonder if it had just been a mirage, you'll have the warm sensation of having been singed. Just a little.