By Ella Gaynor
Electronic artist Gormless is gormless in name only. It takes an intelligent ear to take what we would consider in the everyday as ‘background’ noise, and turn it into an exciting, suspenseful, ambient track. LYON, the newest album from Gormless, was recorded in the city of the same name, made up of two tracks: MARKETS and REVELLERS. Both tracks build cleverly, and though taken from the same place explore completely opposing themes.
MARKETS revolves around what most cities revolve around: commerce. The interaction of people, machines, money changing hands. It takes its sounds from markets, daytime streets, parks around Lyon’s city. The instrumentation and electro-waves creep in gradually over the recordings to bring in a vibrant, eerie energy. It’s a fresh take on the wholesome European market scene, hinting at something more sinister underneath the bright colours of produce and trade. It builds like a scary movie, with everything starting out almost hyper-normal. Bird-like trills filter in towards the end, grounding us while simultaneously adding to MARKETS’ natural edge. Then come the radiant waves of organ notes. It’s biblical.
Gormless’ second track from LYON, REVELLERS starts at a different pace. It’s funky, it’s platform-sounds, ringtones. It’s the city at night, and we’re ready to go faster. Then we drop into a deep bass that makes you weak at the knees. If MARKETS gets you gently pumped for the night ahead, then REVELLERS should be played in the thick of that same night. It’s filthy electro at its finest- which is not to say that it lacks finesse. Clever echoes of the organ we heard previously in MARKETS link these two tracks together beautifully.
LYON is cohesive in much more than the setting of its inspiration; two tracks sync slickly to take us through a day in this city. Gormless has outdone themselves with this latest, larger-than-life release. Gormless’ fascination with natural sounds, city soundscapes and their love of harmony are the fundamentals of this album.