Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
Aquarius Blue Flame begins Glacci’s PURE. A hyperactive sample is whipped up intensely, followed by a crackling drum and bass loop making its way brazenly into the mix. There is instantly a feeling of energy and power, but the artist does an incredible job of blindsiding the listener with the breakdown. A bass glides in seamlessly alongside a laser-focused synth lead. A wonderful combination of high-octane percussion and emotive melody. There is something in the sounds that casts a metallic blue hue across everything. There is an innocence in the twinkling keys that playfully dances in the maelstrom of the track, the glittering pads that levitate just above the lower frequencies give us a breather at the midway point. The listener sees the dance floor spin uncontrollably around them, stuck on a waltzer ride of flashing aquamarine light. Glacci hunkers the flighty lead melody down against the beat the second time around, instead of a glistening resonant lead, the notes are blasted through a distorted house-y synth.
Azure Dream moves into more of a straightforward dance territory. A tuneful sample is pitched up and down before we make off a precipice. Another slick melodious lead taking flight below us as we start to freefall. With the beat hammering into proceedings, Glacci catches us calmly, a steady kick and snare companionship that the artist then plays around with. The track breathes with this futuristic aura surrounding it. The layout of it seems to take stylistic and sonic influence from dance music of the late 2010s. But with the last track considered as well, Glacci injects this often hackneyed style with much needed flair and feeling.
Juddering vocal samples on Halycon 44. A wonderfully fresh spring of high frequency sounds begin to close in on the listener. Shimmering synth chords float past, but they are cut off tightly, as are the vocals. Even before the percussion breaks its way through, the artist seems to reminding us of his keen eye for sleek production. The vocals continue to catapult into the airy space as the percussive elements hammer into swathes of glittering sound. With the solid body of the tranquil sound, it certainly lives up to its name, as Glacci delivers a calming but still amped-up track.
Heavy-handed kick drums and catchy vocal trills take the reins on Air, a feeling of hyperactive decadence consumes the listener as the track breaks through. Visions of futuristic basements full of energetic people come to mind, not unlike those now legendary clips from movies such as Blade or The Matrix. But where there were feelings of menace apparent there, we find nothing but joy and elation in Glacci’s portrayal. The thudding kick drum is too much for any of the other aspects of the track to ignore, and everything dips down as it hits, a rumbling bass sound following in its wake. The way the semi-android voice shoots out in between the earth-shattering beat is endlessly addictive. There is an unstoppable rush that the listener experiences all the way through till the track’s close.
Things get a little more expansive with the next set of interludes. HyperLyfe finds the listener bathed in soft aqueous light. The small warbles of sound that emanate from above our head seem to move like creatures through water. Even in this tranquil detour, we can hear the powerful buzz of synths, but they float away effervescently into the water. Synthetic Love begins with aching yawns of artificial cymbals before launching into a beeping seeming to scan for life over a landscape shrouded in euphoric sound. From the beeping emerges a rhythmic synth melody, pushing out of the murky cerulean shadows.
Kinetic brings a decidedly different notion to the table at the outset. Shirking the more tender melodies of the first half of the album, we begin with an almost cryptic, sinister dual of droning synths. The weighty percussion bursts out alongside the phasing sibilance. If the tracks before the two short interludes were an illustration of neorave clubs in Glacci’s world, then this track is surely the inevitable scene change to the monolithic tower where a villainous force resides.
SkyRyder brings back those sickly-sweet, early PS2 game vibes as an arpeggiator moves with the speed of a hypermodern vehicle through a sprawling megalopolis. The beat contrasts this steady pace with a more sparse breakdown initially, then quickening into a laser-ridden momentum. It feels like we are one of those barely pixellated background figures in a fighting games’ token city venue. Flying crafts evaporating into the air amidst sprays of neon light. The main aspect of the track, that seems to run through the majority of it sounds like the galvanisation of some futuristic energy. Match that with the cinematic pad lead that begins to fly above the rest of the mix, and this track provides one of the most sonically-pleasing excursions on PURE.
The titular track begins with a withering robotic voice crooning over slowly emerging synth notes. A stable clapping soon marks out a rhythm, and with that Glacci pushes us over the edge into the multi-coloured wormhole. The vocal reemerges, a mere holographic presence skidding across the surface of thick dance instrumentation. Much like Azure Dream before it, this track delights in pumping that saccharine-sweet electronic sound, yet still keeping in the unique boundaries Glacci has set out for the album.
Pulse gives us the only track on the album that resembles a vocally-led track. Nashville-based Eve Maret lends fractured vocals appearing as an android, stuttering lyrics about how a rush of emotion has caused her heart to speed up. These ideas of adrenaline are then met perfectly with rattling hi-hat work and the solid almost careless thudding of a muddy kick drum and heavy-handed snare.
Cerulean Touch sends the tightly-wound resonance of phasing synths scattering across the floor of the track. At this point on the album, we know what’s on the horizon. But as Glacci winds up to sucker punch us, it still comes as a little bit of a surprise. The artist implements those rapid kicks similar to the previous track, knocking the euphoric sound down to the floor to have it rise back up again. From there he charges up a little, the hook melody playing out at a slightly muted volume. But as the kick drums pound again, we are thrown back into the torrent of hyperactive samples and crystalline synth sounds.
There’s something in the pantheonic quality of the chord progressions on Tranquility that set it apart as a closing track. More stuttering vocals push out into the tenderly melodic aura that Glacci builds. The percussion is sublime, almost orchestral in its calculated impacts. More soaring synths glimmer in the awesome blue light that emanates. Glacci falls into a chopped up rhythm, that seems to use the plosive nature of vocal samples to help it to hit that little harder. This intensity evaporates into the ether, and we are left drifting in heavenly sound once again. With this conclusive track, the artist seems more intent on laying out a journey for the listener. The frills of their percussive talents are pushed to the back as a supporting role. And with the incredible nature of the atmosphere that has been created thus far, we are fully enveloped by this intense but cathartic finisher.
It almost feels like an album has never before lived up to its name as much as Glacci’s PURE does. From the beginning to the very end, an unbelievable intensity is sustained on each track. A shimmering beauty is displayed in the big hitting cuts, and is left to drift about gracefully in the more restrained ventures. The album holds perfectly in this sweet spot that gives the listener adrenaline-infused mayhem, whilst delivering an emotively pure instrumentation.