GusGus | Lies Are More Flexible | OROOM
Release date: February 23rd 2018
Review by Jenna Dreisenstock
Reverberation of synthetic texture and geometric groove; hypnotic immersion in the echo of progressive, unraveling experimentation – a delve into the past and learned influence and powerful breakthrough of the present. Rhythmic loops allured by enthusiastic harmonies, steady tempos, coloured with the mesmer of curious arpeggios; dynamic driving pulses in which to dance, in which to layer and layer and lose oneself. Analogue bounce and resilliant, driving bass in the push forward – leading by energetic yet emotional tone; glitch and ambience a twilight-scape of colour in which to burst forth; space and non-space in the beat of sonic analogue.
Lies Are More Flexible, the tenth album brought to us by eclectic Icelandic electronic act GusGus; is an animated expression of their hypnotic, ever swirling and weaving geometry of sound. Unafraid to break the barriers of genre, GusGus embrace techniques of textural articulation drawing from multiple influences; the vivid enrapture of progression in sparkling neo-electronic dance, soulful and confident immersion in atmospheric ambient soundscapes; an intoxicating down-tempo stirred by 80’s inspired synth-wave. One of the most renowned electronic acts to grace Iceland, GusGus have made a name for themselves for their willingness to diverge in experimentation of sound. Making waves for a period of almost two decades, amongst GusGus’s rotating members and diverging themes they have become known for high-energy live performances; infusing nostalgia with modern club culture, GusGus take on all aspects of high-octane, electronic sampling; including remixes of legendary artists such as Sigur Ros, Björk and Depeche Mode. Currently fronted by band members Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson and Biggi Veira, Lies Are More Flexible brings us a brand-new exploration into the depths and diversity of electronic music, allowing an immersive experience into experimentation in sound and genre.
‘Featherlight’, the opening track of the album beckons us forth into a vast reverb-soaked depth; swirling arpeggios that glimmer in a submerged seascape. The dynamic ocean sweeps into a self-assured 4/4 bass-line, setting the tone of track; progressively driving the track forward and setting the confidence of its tone; an eclectic synth and playful layered glitch an accompanying collective. Allowing Ágúst’s vocals to take centre stage, the seascape synths dive below the surface. Ágúst’s soulful tone, simmering with delay, greets us:
“Through the lie, light as a feather…”
Coloured by an earnest melodic synth-line, Ágúst’s vocals bring forth the irradiant electronic dance to share centre stage; a progressive breakdown animated in tempo, hypnotic in it’s foreshadowing mood as it allows listeners a glimpse into the overall aesthetic of the album.
‘Don’t Know How To Love’ opens with a rich bass-heavy bounce, jittering with spirited textures; experimentations in pitch and timbre, synth harmonies resembling a quick orchestral shout as they halt gently to present the groove of the vocal presence in the track. Ágúst’s sincere vocal timbre glides in dynamic with the accompanying kaleidoscope of reverberation in electronic experimentation. A progressive vocal heavy track, the expression of Ágúst’s voice and John Grant’s backing vocals are emotional in nature, exploring in tone a sound reminiscient of R&B, smooth and soulful confidence to caressing//hushed vocal harmonies and expressive, theatric immersion.
‘No Manual’, the first instrumental track of the album presents a metallic ambience as a guide forward, overlaying crescendos and decrescendos of breathless synths, shimmering with 80’s new-wave nostalgia. The ambience allows for a tender 4/4 beat, coloured by a fluttering electronic soundscape; an unexpected change to a slow dive of momentary dissonances. An active sentimentality of rising and falling heart-beat pulses and empathetic synths. Sweeping minimalism in a growing atmospheric soundscape. An auditory exploration.
‘Fuel’, the album’s concluding track, propels the listener forward; a psychedelic array of textured synthesizers that create an upbeat, yet intimate mood –an enveloping soundscape reminiscent of the new-wave 80’s feel, creating the urge to move yet with a closed eye progression and absorption in textural movement. A percussive beat provides a skeletal structure as the experimentation of electronic noises playfully bring themselves inward and present, fading to allow a break away of set genre; a feel nostalgic in nature yet relevant in modern-day, a breakthrough synth-wave and high-energy pulse caressed by chambers of various world-building effect – ‘Fuel‘, allows the listener a journey of electronic sound to traverse, intimate in nature and physical and tonal conclusion to the general mood and tone of the album.
Lies Are More Flexible showcase GusGus’s bold and confident progression in their genre-defying nature, breaking through with intricate patterns of spiraling kaleidoscopic patterns, delicately (yet fearlessly) weaving into one another with a unique expression of broad influences. The ability to encapsulate and experiment in an ever inquisitive personality, allows GusGus to push the limits of timbre and echo in resonance; an album steeped with evocative aural tone and driving beats reminiscent of sentimentality in influence, yet originality in physical form; Lies Are More Flexible explore the ways of approach in the eclectic soundscapes of electronic music, and use the tools at their disposal to create an animated auditory experience, a journey of texture and experimentation, guiding the listener through a powerful expression of vivid personality and vibrant, striking worldliness that capture the spirit of GusGus.
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