The original ‘Vapor City’ (review) began as a dream, a recurring thought which plagued both Machinedrum’s conscious and unconscious mind. Fuelling a full studio album last year, it has also intercepted the producer’s ever-evolving live show.
Indeed, so much material erupted out of this concept – an imaginary city based in the future – that Travis Stewart is able to compile ‘Vapor City Archives’.
Essentially offcuts, extraneous material and other misshapes, this is much more than simply a collection of tracks that didn’t make the grade.
Determined to maintain a strict theme for ‘Vapor City’, this new collection has a rather broader emotional palette. The influences are similar – shadowy Detroit techno, brittle footwork, the UK bass lineage – but the way they are interpreted is slightly different.
There’s a romantic mode – ‘2 B Luvd’ and ‘Endless <3’ both appear – while the tone is rather lighter, dare we say more seductive. Yet ‘Boxoff’ is a ferocious introduction, while ‘Vizion (Centred)’ has its heavy moments.
Not quite as developed or controlled as its parent album, ‘Vapor City Archives’ underlines the sheer creative nous running through Machinedrum right now. A producer capable of melding the organic and digital, the imaginary and the real, this clearing of the decks should pave the way for something even more fascinating.
Words: Robin Murray
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