Popshop - Geometry For Broken People LP (Raygun Records)
From the scenic lands of Switzerland, Popshop returns with a new album of flavorful sound, merging sensibilities of our current times with moods of the future and classic underground…
For the better part of 30 years Martin Akeret aka Popshop, has been a natural at production that shifts into innovative gears of techno, electro, new wave, house, acid, and more skillfully demonstrated across a large body of work. His recent collaboration album with Dan Piu, "The Nightstalker" (Childhood Intelligence) is one of the top Electro albums of the year, and now he returns with an album of refreshing and long lasting tracks to be spun on Oliver Kapp's classic label, Raygun. Across the 10 tracks of Popshop's latest "Geometry For Broken People" the listen has no boundaries in electronic style; its seamless, deep and an engaging listen that plays for keeps….The Reflection:
Geometry for Broken People opens like a scene in space with the aptly titled 'In Another Time, In Another Place'. Deep Pads set such an addictive ambience to the track, accented with subtle chorus hums, and lovely layered kickdrums that carry a House accent, yet it's flow is more in line with Deep Techno. Beautiful arps also contribute to the atmosphere keeping things scifi sharp, and it's cool how surreal vocoder chirps appear in such ghostly fashion in parts. Its all business in the 303 punctuation in this opener that is a class display of music for the body or mind, the production shows here that he's been doing this a long time.
Clear blue skies and acid airlines fly in 'The Hammer and The Dance'. The bassline, pads, and atmosphere of this escaping track float freely between Techno and Trance, with arpeggios that totally set a therapeutic flow.The acid in this track is warm in presence with a subtle charm. Back again in the most welcoming way, are some very cool vocoder lines speaking the track title into your mind, amidst the kickdrum and rimshot bliss of the classic 909…..
Mystic melody and melancholy are abundant in the late night tech lands of 'A Mysterious Man'. Saturated acid is in full release, fusing so well with vocal lines that are so 80s classic - "is he a ghost" you might think so as the almost surreal vocal chants like that creep up on you in this track. The aura flirts between dark and lighter tones, giving it the antidote that works comfortably in an energetic setting or at home. Drums are old school with the warmth of tapes, highlighted by sharp snare layers of 808. Indeed, with its catchy human vocals from Martin and pads of emotion you'll understand 'A Mysterious Man'
The mighty bliss of this listening journey continues its flow, as we go into 'Neo Acid Pop Manifesto'. The true DNA of this track is Deep Acid House, yet it builds into catchy new wave sensibilities with Martin's charming vocal abilities...The spoken lines have a darker 80s Pop flavor and are memorable, creating that nostalgic appeal that many will feel. The pads are warm, melting with deep confidence that will be quite welcome in the mental presence. The atmosphere is deep world oozing with reverb, amidst fantasy arpeggios and well arranged driving flows, thanks to the very dense kickdrums layered with sticks that pack a captivating echo. Dynamic style is in this track for miles.
'Wolves Like Us' blends the lines of futuristic funk and techno and is designed for a more laid back time. Its a unique track that is still easy to get into, with a lean and swing type rhythm. Lovely robotic vocal lines marry perfectly with the track's synths of epic and introspective vibes. The funky handclap and 909 rhythm combination, and slower pace end up serving a perfect foundation for dreamy arpeggios and some nice 303 acid lines to leave the ordinary behind. "Wolves Like Us" is a Different type of animal indeed, that adds a nice change of speed.
"Year of the Lemmings" is full of emotional winnings confidently taking the listener on a journey spanning downtempo and lush and curious House with 808 layers and acid flavors. There are powerful spoken words from Martin on the lines of "this is not the story that you want to hear"...perhaps alluding the current and future years, while the melody and drive of this track, when in full go House mode is uplifting and emotive with synths and starlight leads that create a beautiful atmosphere; this travels perfectly with futuristic and old school textures of kickdrums driving the fun. 303 acid further enriches the bassline in this track for the body and mind; note the clever shift back to downtempo near end, with romantic strings that flow like wind. "Year of the Lemmings" is a timeless track that the deep listener can always depend.
"Stranded Motivations" is full of personality and imagination. The overall feel is of dreamy, and therapeutic ambient appeal, with 909 Electro keeping the groove real. The melody plays out like a fine score, giving an engaging world for the listener to explore, while juicy acid expansion opens more doors. The layers and 909 snare drums and rimshot delays are all pure early 90s haze, and you will hear the future possibilities in this track's choice synth and arrangement personalities; "Stranded Motivations" is one of the Deepest tracks on this fine LP
"Neon Nights, Past Future" smoothly takes on a driving and melodramatic stance with deep kicks and sticks creating a rhythm not quite House, but somewhere in the future realms of dance. Combined with soul and funk of the acid bassline, and a mellow chords for the mind, this track is easy to get lost in and just unwind.The scene of the track has a modern touch, displaying unique style combos and an energetic tempo.
Deep Electro is on the horizons in "Electric Basement Living". The aura of the track is colored with strings of melancholy and psychedelic bleeps; highlighted epic octave changes during the track's peaks, and at moments a vocoder speaks. Arpeggios come in to add spacey streaks, while the 808 kicks, cowbell, and snares keep the feet moving in this affair. This track really has a lot of nature in its DNA in how melody and atmosphere bring to mind and ominous waterways. All sounds have so much space to breathe, its lovely to hear, and this track can charm Electro sets without fear.
Sensorama perfectly blends chords of sensual nature and melodrama. The scene plays out clever over offbeaten and downtempo 808 endeavors; the punchy kicks are present for the bounce as the rhythm floats freely about. Atmosphere rules the night as guitar chords, warm arpeggios and synth whistles create such a harmonious flow. Acid highlights the soul of the bass in the groove in a way the takes control as the track progresses and peaks through the layers of Techno and Downtempo beats. Again, an emotive hybrid that falls out of any one genre grid.
This track is brings an end credits like feel to this album of much appeal. Plenty of "Sensorama"s elements make the listen feel surreal, while still keeping a slower paced groove in command at will.Closing Insights:
Popshop delivers one with quality for years to come with "Geometry For Broken People".....Its the full experience one seeks with a long player album; together all tracks- create a journey that is cohesive, deep, dynamic, and at times abstract. There is never a moment of slack, and with each track the listen just submerges further in a musical bliss that is hard to resist. Indeed, the story is told in a way that musically bold, confident in experimentation and colorful mixing of styles and sound design that will leave an refreshing impression in the open mind. Essential and a great listening escape during these times and more; fine production is definitely on display as always from Popshop aka Martin Akeret.
Geometry for Broken People is available digitally here at Raygunhttps://oliverkapp.bandcamp.com/album/geometry-for-broken-people, and physically on vinyl at Diggers Factory https://www.diggersfactory.com/vinyl/231855/popshop-geometry-for-broken-people.