Reformed Society - Cosmic Perspective (Funnuvojere Records, 2020)
Just when we thought the spectrum of sound couldn't be broadened any more, the Funnuvojere camp smashes it out of the park with another slice of blissed out excellence from the always impressive Reformed Society.
Understanding and incorporating a real sense of presence in relation to melodics within tracks has always led to some brilliant results, as much now as it ever did. From the days where the deep house and Detroit techno forefathers starting utilising blissed out chord structures and ethereal rhythms in order to transfix listeners via wordless segments, the idea that you can move minds and bodies with emotional chordal arrangements then become a new pillar within dance music. The emphasis remains inherently on the mood and the scale of the environment, with the nature of the music one that binds itself to the listener's feelings and intertwines with the flows that abound from within, a plain where the mental outlooks of both sequences begin to understand and respond to one another. Many producers have looked to help people project and reflect on their own self via this emphasis on mood and tone, crafting worlds that point to context and feel, a soundtrack to activity, movement, or simply standing still, looking and gazing over a particular point in a particular place. We become so involved with every single movement and tangent that might appear, content in grooving along to the sights and the sounds that unravel within the blossoming threads. The audial narrative remains one of undulating excellence, where the identity of the music and the person who made it are laid bare via their melodic undertakings, crafting a presence in their music that is highly enriching and throughly impressive, a statement in sound that reverbs across the spectrum laid out in front of us. It's not just throwing in melodic features for the sake of it, but instead demonstrating how they can be used as a tool to signal transitions, to represent the essence of the track, to allow for the weaves and dips to be extra special, crafting a relationship with listeners that encourages repeat listens in order to provide ultimate fulfilment in the emotional department. We are always drawn to these kinds of music makers, due to their ability to make cuts that hit heavily on the dance floor but also allow for a sense of investment to be made in the softer tender side of things - a inter- mingled relationship that persists on many levels, touching on the cornerstones of emotion, imagination and the dance. The keys and the chords fill up the rooms in our minds, fuelling our desires to project into places where words don't exist yet we fill in the blanks ourselves, and that kind of mental journey is a very exciting one indeed. When the focus remains on the sonics of chordal arrangements, the style that backs it up remains instantly transferrable, with the melodies doing much to transfer themselves over to a new style, a new movement, a new sense of direction. But despite moving into new realms, the excellence in emotive feel remains the same, a transferrable element that if it remains the focus of sound, it will always prevail.
In many ways, Harsh Puri has resided within the realms of melodic understanding and perfection throughout his career, and when looking back through his works there's so much excellence to highlight and point out. With a established background in Djing and putting on parties, Puri moved into production initially in 2012 under his Sound Gypsy name and then debuted as Reformed Society in 2015, and since then he has been crafting so many landmark movements that have really reverberated across the house and techno spectrums. His style remains a highly adaptable one, with a clear emphasis on melodies and harmonies meaning that his visions can be achieved in a number of differing musical contexts, blending together sensibilities of both house and techno in a typically contemporary fashion. All of his releases so far have slotted into an ongoing story that contains numerous intriguing narratives and sub plots, with a number of highly ambitious and creative aspects thrown in for good measure, in a journey that represents all that is brilliant about the contemporary dance music scene. The hazy blissed out chord structures, the progressive and meaningful drum patters, the heartfelt melodies and atmospheres, it all comes together so succinctly within Puri's music, a naturally free flowing and incredibly organic style that joins the dots found within the rich tapestries of electronic music. It's easy to find your heart and your body go wondering within the many layers and plains that weave and wind in his music, a style that accommodates the listener within it's deep set progressions and tones, a space defined by the melodic embrace that wraps around us with each passing bar. While many producers push this kind of style, not many have the dexterity or application that Puri is blessed with, a deeply thoughtful producer who clearly caters for every tone and mood on his records, with a production and arranging style that welcomes every newcomer with open arms. It's music that remains easy to fall in love with, and no matter what mood you find yourself in, there's plenty of scope for all of your emotional or dance fuelled needs. This notion becomes very apparent when looking back through the Reformed Society discography, with some of our favourites including the chuggy deepness that resonates from his debut EP, 'MDMA', that arrived in 2015; the grandness and the opulence in sound that caresses us on the brilliant 'Optimistic Chaos' record, that landed in 2016; the deep and eerie techno tinged odyssey that is the 'Dimensions' record, that landed in 2018; the soft yet powerful flows that emerge from the euphoric 'Food For Thought' record, that also arrived in 2018; and finally, the full on techno assault contained within the 'Bend the Wave' record, that was released last year. When diving back through his works, you find yourself really meandering and wondering, drawn to many places and spaces you thought of before but didn't have the right tools in order to vividly experience it, and within Puri's music those imaginings become a series of lush vibrant scenes, reaffirming scenes which delve right into the pulses of life itself and draw forth experiences of pure unadulterated bliss. It's the intelligent application and a core understanding of melodies that helps develop such a connection between us and his music, with a fluctuating style that never strays too far from the core mechanics but displays enough variety to garner very high levels of intrigue indeed. If you enjoy a sound that consistently dips, weaves and dives, all the while catering for all your emotional needs, then look no further than the Reformed Society works, trust us, you will not be disappointed.
And now we arrive at the latest effort to flow from Puri's finger tips, 'Cosmic Perspective', that lands on the continually impressive Funnuvojere imprint. Whilst we have already experienced a lot of melodically driven class from Puri in the past, here we see the key work go onto a whole new level, drawing influence from italo (both old and new), EBM and cosmic meanderings of all kinds, crafting a fullness that resonates from every single corner of the record. You begin to float and drift across an impossibly scaled soundscape, filled up by the energies found in the keys and the rhythms, as the flows of the record draws you to all manner of intriguing curiosities and places that shine so bright and resonate in all their totality. It's a record that only furthers his credentials as a producer to keep tabs on, and we couldn't think of a better place for this record to call home than Funnuvojere. So, without further delay, lets take a dive into this cosmic mini-masterclass........
Up first comes 'Night Vision', and the tone becomes apparent right from the off. The kicks are heavy and deep set, setting the foundations below the arpeggiated key line that flutters and rises within the spaces set out by the drums, with the original arrangement quickly gathering steam to incorporate snares and additional dynamics incorporated into the synth line. The sequence continues on in this manner, looping between this world and the next, crafting in little moments of variation that do wonders in relation to moving things forward, with the beat slowly building and building until it becomes fuller, with the keys swelling before descending back down in a lovingly curated transition. The sequence then moves through the gears once more, with a sweeping chord panning right across our view, with it's tone and placement so pure and enriching, with the singular then moving into a series of sweeps that is complimented with further arpeggios and melodic structures. It's a wonderful picture, a scene that has been impeccably constructed and meticulously developed, with the track then flowing between differing arrangements and scenes, with the track moving between the lines effortlessly in relation to mood and tone, fluidly moving between a wide variety of structures. Our minds are firmly locked right within the heart of it all, carried away on the waves into the star twinkled night sky, dreaming of places and spaces far away. Simply gorgeous. Up next comes 'Space Corridor', and the tone remains very much on point with this one. The kicks begin proceedings off, with additional percussive features arriving to fill in the spaces and add further layers into the progressions moving forward, with the bombastic bass line puncturing through the rhythms every now and then. The scene is set, the foundations established, and now it remains time for the keys to take us away, and that process begins with the gorgeous key solo that moves right into view on top, it's all encompassing nature grabbing our attention almost instantly as the sequence grows and grooves on top of proceedings. The solo works alongside the newly added chords that permeate on the boundaries of the track, with the bass line continuing on it's journey through the middle of the progression, as the drums continue to fluctuate in relation to arrangement and layers. It's a seriously intoxicating cut, one that again places the listener directly within the heat of the moment, encouraging us to seek out and get to know all that flows forth from it's endlessly expressive character. A real winner, this one.
Up next comes the title track, and we arrive once more in familiar surroundings with the glitchy yet full bass line and the hard hitting kicks. The arrangement sets the tone and feel almost immediately, and before long we are joined by the additional arpeggio key line, with the two sequences working so well alongside each other to really embed the listener into the tune. The fullness of the track becomes more and more engaging as time smoothly slides by, as the feel of each note and chord played increases in density and mood, the layering of each element so well placed and throughout, with the first climax arriving as the bass line moves out and the key lines become increasingly euphoric. The segment builds and builds, wrapping us right around it's little finger, before sliding right back into the core rhythmic structure, with the track then quickly transitioning back into it's original form, but you know the momentum ain't slowing down any time soon. The tune then moves into some heavy set frequencies, with the bass and drums hitting harder than ever before, with the melodic elements on top lightening their feel ever so slightly, but before long we arrive right back in the heat of proceedings, with the big swelling chords moving right across our field of view, creating a sense of audial totality within proceedings. The emphatic feels return once more as the drums and bass really lift off the ground, with the keys flickering on top, a distant presence that sweeps right into the foreground, brilliantly switching up the placement of the chords and keys to give a real sense of dynamism. The track remains content in seeing itself out the door, into the endless landscape it fought so hard to craft, and we are all for coming back and getting to know it all over again. A class track. To wrap things up on this wonderful record, we have 'Sci-Fi Love Story', and this one begins off with the key sequence fading into existence from some unknown galaxy. The view becomes filled with the arpeggio, and before long it is joined by a beautiful chiming key line that adds further weight to the arrangement, a simmering sea of blissed out cosmic excellence, which is added to further by the pulsating bass line that aligns itself underneath. As pulses go, it's hard to craft sometimes without percussive elements, but this initial phase of the track is so beautifully constructed, crafting a rhythmic feel with it's density and diversity. The hats arrive soon enough though, and we move into the next phase of the track's journey, as the drums begin to indicate some kind of lift off into a chuggy percussive structure, but the climax ends with the bass line being laid bare, left alone within an imagined sea where the other audial elements have left our view but not our minds. The features come back soon enough, and the end result is an experience that remains as encompassing and engaging as the previous cuts, an omnipresent tone that weaves around the heart of the track with gusto and excellence. A teardrop from the sky, a rumbling of the sub bases of the consciousness, a brief interlude into the comings and goings of life, this track soundtracks it all, carrying us away to wherever we feel the need to project to next. An absolute pearl, and a definite way to end an album with an overflowing abundance of musical bravado and meaning. Pure class across the board.
Puri has spent time during his discography really mastering the art form of melodic laden dance music, and on this record we see his vision expand a little bit more into become a totality in relation to fullness and emotive mood. The manner in which these tracks develop, swell and meander is nothing short of extraordinary, with Puri's deft handy work found all over the tracks as a constant reminder of his thought processes and musical ideals. Seeping in lush chordal arrangements and deep pounding percussives, you merely float along within this sea of euphoria and bliss, closing your eyes for certain sequences but very much awake for others, there's so much to experience and believe in within this record. At moments big and dense, at others incredibly soft and tender, there is a lot to take in and so much to take away, and that is testament to Puri and his musical visions. Simply outstanding, and certainly one of the purist journeys you will undertake all year. One for the future classics books, for sure.
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