Top 10 Albums of 2014 – #7: Photay by Photay

17 Dec


What a year for Aphex Twin. Syro in its own right is an instant classic, making it onto many of these top ten lists that are going around. He also released a set of tracks that could easily have made up another double-album on his Soundcloud. I’m sure it took a load off, finally releasing material he had written and been working on since the 90s. Coincidentally (or serendipitously?), it was also a good year for longtime fan, Evan Shornstein. As well as probably celebrating new Aphex Twin, Shornstein, under the moniker Photay, celebrated his own (mini) album release.

The eponymous record begins with a detox. I found this ironic, because, rather than have signs of painful withdrawal, the track builds up and foreshadows what is ahead. Then I realized I wasn’t cleansing myself of the toxins of the music, I was using the music to cleanse myself. I let Seafloor lift me up during “Deconstruct”; the sassless horns were my scripture. The brass on the entire album is stunning, complementing the smart basslines and beats. I shuddered at the static tickling my eardrums. “Illusion of Seclusion” is the vinyl finale, promising a wondrous infinite unknown. But the digital bonus tracks won’t just leave it there.

The final three tracks are their own act, all part of the epilogue. It is the evening in a dusty town, where you can hear fun being had without you. You let your nostalgia warm you. (But the seclusion is an illusion.) You are invited inside to dance, and suddenly there are people around you, so many people. You had no idea this many people could even be near you, how many people are there? How small are we in comparison?

Photay (the mini album) is out now via Astro Nautico. (Photay is also a full length release available on his Bandcamp.) For more information on Photay, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

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