Bristol, UK classically trained musician come Dubstep producer Phaeleh (pronounced ‘fella’) welcomes listeners to his new album ‘Fallen Light’ with a winning combination of elements that leans toward pop music.
‘Afterglow’ captures that rare magic often elusive in electronic music: lush vocals (from crooner Soundmouse) and rich, honeyed layers of melody cascading over bass and drum in a slow, contemplative, shimmering orgy of sound. Subsequent tracks (‘Losing You’, ‘Breathe in Air’ & ‘Lament’) keep the vibe alive; strings, synths, and heartfelt, brooding vocal snippets grow on you like nostalgia. ‘Delusions’ picks up the tempo, though the piano workout could add a few keys to keep things interesting.
Yet the fresher sounds too frequently give way to repetition and convention. ‘Plateau’ is just that: a contrived hum drum soundscape lacking highs or lows. ‘Badman’ caters to the neurofunk enthusiast of yesteryear, adding little to the formula save for a slower pace. Phaeleh capably crafts blissful bass music with a heavy nod to the deep and mellow crew on almost half the album, but turns to spiritual bypassing on many tracks such as ‘Mantra’, privileging dance floor formula and repetition over emotional exploration.