Right away I could notice something different in Sugarpill’s new EP release on Muti Music, “Space Foray.” Breaking away from the producer’s usual hip hop inspired glitchy bass this album takes the listener on an elevated, intergalactic journey through outer space, just as the title suggests. When I finally looked up the word ‘foray’ I found that it means, “a brief excursion, especially outside one’s accustomed sphere,” and it all made sense. Sugarpill has attempted a different direction for this release, which still incorporates aspects of his style from previous work, but in comparison is much more downtempo. I love space-inspired sounds, so I ate this album up. It works very well as a whole, each track blends into the next and really creates another world through which to travel.
“Level 21” is a catchy and gripping, opening track, with claps over a polytemponic beat. Bouncy with some swagger, it’ll pull you right into the next levels.
Now you are entering space in “Sputter Star,” rising, weightless up through clouds until you are surrounded by twinkling stars. The tempo picks up and you are launched forward through the galaxy at light-speed, and yet everything around you seems to move in slow motion as you rocket by. Glittering melodies are beautiful and enchanting, and the driving bass is not lost, but propels the music forward like an engine on a space ship.
With “BlipSquip” I imagine some creature you’d encounter on your space travels. Distorted synths lash out like twisted tentacles and laser beams shoot out through gnashed teeth.
“Space Foray” is definitely a high point in the album, bound to enliven dance floors, people bouncing with hands in the air, weaving in and out of each other, getting down to this triumphant track. High energy synths, and what sound like space owls, overlaid and syncopated with the heavy-hitting beat create an invigorating soundscape.
If this album was a soundtrack the next, “Galactic Interchange,” would definitely be fit for a chase scene. Siren synths and convoluted glitch create a hyphy and darker atmosphere, which is reminiscent of Sugarpill’s older, more bass-centric work.
Some of the EP’s only sampling is found in “RisoMorph” also recollective of Sugarpill’s prevalent sound. The lack of sampling in “Space Foray” is the most obvious aspect of this albums divergence into a more flowy, instrumental sound. The samples in this track are even cut so that they are used as sounds, not as words.
In one of the most spacey tracks of the album, “Lightyears,” you are spun around among the stars one last time, and you wave goodbye to the speck that is planet Earth, before being propelled onwards, drifting off into the outer corners of the universe.