Electro house music in a sci-fi lockdown.
It isn’t often you’ll find electro house music on Higher Plain Music. The clue here is that Overwerk doesn’t stay in his lane. He never has and he likely never will and that is why I am a fan. Each album has a different slant and for ‘Vessel’, Overwerk seems to be channelling subwoofer deep bass.
Across the album, deep dark synths and basslines rule the roost. Be it the aggressive warning pulses of ‘Bridge’ or the bone rumbling bass and kick drums of ‘Sense’ – the bass is king. This occasionally works against the album for it being an immediate click though. Thankfully there are a few hook songs that are exceptionally strong to pull you in for repeated listens so you can let the rest of the album grow on you.
Those big hook tracks are the fantastic ‘Sense ft. iKell’. Its mixture of deep house, synthwave and vocal melodies make it a wonderful oddity. It could be part South American, part African part alien. it all works. On a similar note ‘Resonate’ reminds me of Royksopp at times with the merger of heavy futuristic synths and pristine piano chords. Then it will switch gears to feel like a space mission soundtrack. The same can be said for ‘Beyond’ which is a superb piece. It balances 80’s synthwave and something mysteriously futuristic perfectly and develops its poise around a central riff.
Elsewhere, tracks a little less explicit and take you a few listens to click with. ‘Parallel’ is a collaboration with Pilotpriest and has an evocative organ throughout. It is the closest the album comes to feeling like a mysterious sci-fi movie. Chilled out vocal track ‘Pictures’ is one of the most commercially minded tracks Overwerk has done for a while and is full of little vocoder tweaks.
The overriding vibe of the album I felt was ‘If Overwerk scored Cyberpunk 2077’. It is dark, gritty, mysterious but also doesn’t give all of its gifts out readily. I don’t think I’d say this would be the best place to start with his extensive catalogue. If you are after a brooding cyberpunk ‘get ready to rumble’ soundtrack to pump yourself up for the main event though – ‘Vessel’ is perfectly placed to provide.
Featured track: Sense ft. iKell
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