Faded Ranger / Mechanical Tonight
Faded Ranger made their hypnotizing debut earlier this year with a sparkling trio of singles - 'Be On The Lookout', 'Get Together (Right Now)' and 'Blindfolds'. Now the duo are ready to unveil their debut LP, Mechanical Tonight, in its full glory. Bringing together Nick Maurer‘s gift for bite-size storytelling and Neville Attree‘s intricate, melodic arrangements, the album is an infectious collection of tracks that resonate with a distinctive crossover appeal, while the dynamic beats ensure it still gravitates towards the dance floor.
Ex-Greenskeepers frontman Maurer (Chicago) and Gumption Recordings founder Attree (London) first met while DJing at a notorious outdoor party called Girl’s Camp in their adopted home of Heidelberg. Faded Ranger stumbled into existence soon after and has come to represent a meeting of minds borne out of circumstance and driven by musical legacy. 'Mechanical Tonight' may be retro in its outlook as the pair work the presence of past influences out of their systems, but the melting pot of ideas and references converge at a point of undeniable modern appeal.
The initial album sessions took place in Attree’s basement studio which was (and still is) held together by string and sellotape. With no agenda, expectations or pressure to cloud their judgement, the budding partnership just did what felt right. Amid the conjured beats, majicked lyrics, jokes and story telling they hit the ground running, penning 'Blindfolds', 'Mechanical Tonight', 'Pretty Colors' and 'Be On The Lookout' in quick succession, setting the tone for the eclectic nature of the album.
'Blindfolds' and 'Be On The Lookout' are filled to the brim with vintage neon shades and proto-house intensity, while the darker synth pop of the album‘s title track takes its tongue-in-cheek inspiration from a drunken robot dancing competition. Lyrical content also plays an integral part in the album’s alchemy like on the tripped-out sci-fi-dub 'Pretty Colors'. Then there’s the vicious ambiguity of 'Come To Me' and their hypnotic cover of Roxy Music’s 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache'. In contrast, the album‘s introspective moods are achieved with the moody, trip-hop referencing 'Everybody', 'Room 101' and the sultry interlude 'Wax Orgasmic'.
The final parts of the album puzzle were completed after the outfit had already formed a bond with their current label home hfn music. With its slow, deliberate groove, vocal hooks and epic arrangement, 'Get Together (Right Now)' recalls the halcyon days of house music. The opening cut 'Going Somewhere' is an acute representation of the duo‘s plethora of influences that should appeal to new and vintage tastes alike, while the album cools out on a poignant note as 'The Weak And The Strong', combines classic programming, heartfelt vocals and shifts of melodic suspense. It rounds off an intriguing panorama.