ARP – “Summer Girl” (Stereogum Premiere)

ARP is Alexis Georgopoulos, aka the San Francisco to New York composer whose second album The Soft Wave is something I’ve suddenly found myself listening to on a regular basis. The mix of analog synthesizers, guitars, piano, flute, EBow (on 2-inch tape) works as elegant background noise as well as being unavoidably dense, enveloping, and emotionally resonant. Georgopoulos has ties to the art and compositions worlds — he’s worked with Doug Aitken, scored for Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown dancers, composed a sound installation at the Audio Visual Arts Gallery, and performed with minimalist composer Anthony Moore — but the music isn’t “arty” or studied. There’s a soulfulness here — even in songs titled “Pastoral Symphony: I. Dominoes II. Infinity Room.” That, and the nine tracks work together as one larger narrative or dynamic: When voice and downcast/scene-establishing lyrics (and the sound of waves…) enter the picture during the penultimate track “From A Balcony Overlooking The Sea,” instead of breaking the spell, the release feels inevitable, well-earned, and necessary. Dip in via “Summer Girl,” the pretty instrumental — noise-bursting, romantic liturgical music  — that comes before it.

ARP – “Summer Girl”

A change of pace:

ARP – “White Light”

The Soft Wave is out 9/7 via Smalltown Supersound. Outside of ARP, Georgopoulos has a DFA-related project Q&A. His other band the Alps released their studio debut III on the mighty Type. And, speaking of art, on 7/17 ARP’s performing as a part of MoMA PS1’s aforementioned Warm Up series with Air France and Ratatat. Will be interesting to hear where those sounds seep outdoors.

Tags: ARP