Stranger Things and a beach club from space vibe from Ross From Friends.
Essex born music producer Ross From Friends aka Felix Clary Weatherall
has clearly achieved a name for himself and created a hum of intrigued amidst the house clique. I’ll move on to reviewing his symphonic sylph-like tempo in a bit but first, I can’t be expected to just skirt over the name choice and I’m sure that wasn’t his intention when he chose it. Why did he choose that alias I wonder? Sarcasm? Deviation? Appreciation? Irony? Whatever the reason it definitely makes for an interesting chat when you mention him, but is the inflexion of his music as much of a talking point?
Sitting down to listen in my busy overgrown city garden seems the perfect place to indulge in Ross From Friends and the delights of his new album, Family Portrait
. Greeted short and sweetly by 'Happy Birthday Nick', gives me a taster of the cut and paste-style vivacity I'm set for. I say vivacity, but don’t confuse this with something whimsical and pretty because although it has some beautiful moments, it is by no means light and airy, and that's a good thing.
Although there's not a huge amount of vocal throughout, there are some nice breaks with songs like 'Wear Me Down', with interesting sound-effect production breaking up the repetitive beat in all the right places, making it more melodic and mellow.
Some of the songs on this album have almost futuristic undertones, not dissimilar to the Stranger Things
score, especially 'Family Portrait' and 'Back Into Space'. I’m not sure if it's intentional but it certainly gives the album a subtle New Age/80’s synth vibe. Other tracks are beach club worthy, but imagine that the beach club is in space. Not too heavy but with enough electro crunch to bask in, 'Parallel Sequence', 'Pale Blue Dot' and 'R.A.T.S' flaunt this. 'Don’t Wake Dad' is a particular highlight and fulfils that part of me that wants a touch more sentiment and comes at exactly the right time.
Ross From Friends said that the album was the product of: "almost two years of intense studio time, working 20-hour days and often spending months perfecting just one aspect of a track." That meticulous approach really shows. Production-wise, the album has it all, it's polished, exciting, interesting and enticing. The twelve well-placed tracks sit neatly with full-flavoured tips and peaks, joining with inventive effects and instrumental samples.
Listen to Ross From Friends 'Family Portrait' below