Footprintz – Escape Yourself
Footprintz are the Montreal duo of Clarian North and Adam Hunter, and release their debut album Escape Yourself on Visionquest – the label run in part by electronic music’s man of the moment Seth Troxler. Perhaps for music released on the label of a front running techno DJ collective this album is a little more traditionally pop than you might be expect. Beginning in earnest with The things that last forever we are immediately introduced to their style of laid back 80’s inspired chilled out vocal pop, with the blissed out melodies and softly spoken lyrics taking the listener off to sunnier climes.
Immediate comparisons could be drawn to contemporaries Benoit and Sergio and Wolf & Lamb’s Pillowtalk as two other live acts that have successfully released vocal popular music on contemporary house and techno labels in recent times. Fans of these groups, and associated DJ collectives will certainly find plenty to enjoy about this record.
Heaven felt like night continues in a similar laid back fashion but with a slightly more sinister edge, with deep keyboard and synthesisers being underpinned by a regular, background, 4/4 drum beat to create an enthralling journey of a track.
Utopia then really sets off the sunshine vibes, with twanging bass complementing slow, shuffling guitars and keys to create the ultimate relaxing vibe. With vocals focusing indeed on utopia, it is easy to imagine this one being played out in absolute bliss at say the Garden in Croatia or at a daytime party in Ibiza or Barcelona.
Following next is Favourite Game which was released as a single back in November, however you sense that its placement among a full length here would always be more likely to show it in its most favourable light. This one is probably the most sinister and dark track on the LP with its deep vocal being key to presenting this emotion, along with a slightly higher bpm background electronic bassline. No wonder, then it was remixed by dark Parisian dj legend Ivan Smagghe on its initial release.
The remainder of the LP goes on to showcase a number of different vibes, without deviating greatly from the general style as set out in the first four tracks. Highlights include the upbeat, groove-laden The Invisible and the sublime Uncertain Change and Zanzibar which are up there with Utopia in the joyful, blissed out stakes. Both invoke feelings of floating away to a private island paradise on a sea of groove!
This album is definitely one to check out if you want a seriously chilled out, warm, groovy sountrack that is much more relevant and contemporary than those god awful Ministry of Sound “chillout” compilations that seem to be ever constantly recycled and advertised on the TV.
Look for Footprintz to provide the soundtrack to the summer days ahead and, when those months finally roll around, for them to win great acclaim across the world with their ensuing live dates. Keep up to date over at Facebook or Twitter