If I wasn’t aware that Wavewulf was from New Jersey, I would’ve assumed somewhere different. Somewhere frustratingly non-specific and vague, like saying you’re ‘from London’ to someone who is also from London – that’s just not enough detail. Wavewulf is from Space, and no amount of conflicting information can convince me otherwise. He says he’s American, but would an alien reveal themselves to the public? No.
‘Space Art and Angels’, the latest release from the synth wizard, feels like it might be the soundtrack for a 90’s sci-fi novel. Ebbing and flowing and pulsing and jittering, a story is told. There is romance, as is heard through the aptly named My One True Love, alongside terror in Venus’s Winter Light III. Warring motifs like these make for a narrative journey, rather than a cobbled-together collection of works.
The use of real, analogue synths elicits a reaction that I imagine Wavewulf would be pleased with – they’re completely noticeable. Often instruments can get lost in a swamp of over-indulgent song writing, but not here. The synths are allowed to breathe and, in doing so, reveal a deft arranging touch. It can be all too easy to fall in to the trap of adding layer after layer after layer (especially in electronica), but Wavewulf has shown that restraint is a vital part of sculpting a believable fantasy.
Wendy Carlos and Kraftwerk fans rejoice, this is something to bathe in. The textures sound considered and deliberate. Despite its off-world theme, the comfort provided by this album is real and oddly familiar. It’s like decades of sci-fi in film and on TV have given us the context we need to understand the otherworldly Wavewulf. If pop-culture weren’t filled with spaceships and time warps, nebulas and supernovas, maybe Wavewulf would be too confusing. But no, I understand it and I’m glad that I do. Feel free to reveal your true origins, Wavewulf, I know you aren’t from round here (and by ‘here’ I mean Earth).
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Words by PJ Kimber
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