By: Calum Slingerland –
With his third studio effort, French electro producer Vitalic once again proves he is a master at creating dance tracks with feeling – treading the fine line between brooding and bombastic.
With 2009’s Flashmob, Vitalic drew on new-disco and house music influences to create a wonderful record. Three years later, he has seemingly left those influences and ideas behind. Rave Age delivers what the album’s title implies – bass-heavy dance jams that would fit seamlessly into any rave environment.
The majority of songs stay close to the classic dance music formula of quarter-note bass, which doesn’t provide much in the way of overall musical diversity. However, their varied use of keyboards and synthesizers largely make up for this with. Songs such as “Rave Kids Go” and “Lucky Star” are overrun with large amounts of synth stabs and washes, while heavy rhythm sections keep the beat moving. “Vigipirate” lumbers forward with mammoth bass drops, coupled with a full-scale assault of sci-fi ray-gun type keys.
Another impressive aspect of the record is the vast assortment of moods it is capable of delivering. Tracks like “No More Sleep” and “Under Your Sun” remain upbeat and explosive with their catchy hooks, while songs such as “Nexus” and “The Legend of Kaspar Hauser” move slower. Chock full of deep bass grooves, these tracks effectively contrast to their dance-oriented, energetic counterparts by delivering a darker, moody atmosphere to the album.
While the work isn’t as strong and cohesive as Flashmob, Rave Age is another testament to the unique way Vitalic works as an artist and producer within the electronic dance genre. Though not offering much in the way of musical diversity, he still manages to keep things interesting with his impressive synth arrangements and diverse number of feelings the compositions will evoke within the listener.
Essential Tracks: “Rave Kids Go”, “Nexus,” and “Lucky Star.”