Remembrance is the Software Recording Co. debut from Baton Rouge's Suicideyear (born James Prudhomme). Written and produced between Florida and Louisiana during the summer and fall of 2013, Remembrance recalls those southern U.S. landscapes and Prudhomme’s experiences across eight songs equally intimate, intoxicating and mercurial.
Prudhomme wrote Remembrance while reflecting on themes of love and loss against the backdrop of the deep American south he calls home. James’ experiences of reflection and resolution led to the vivid, emotionally charged production that makes up Remembrance. Alive with an idiosyncratic sense of melodic space, his repertoire eschews a topical palette for a personal aesthetic that offers a visceral love letter to abstraction. Prudhomme references both forms we know to exist and speculates on how they can be newly realized.
1. I Don't Care About Death Because I Smoke2. Daniel3. Caroline4. Hope Building A5. Savior6. U S7. Remembrance8. When You Sleep
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Who says trap dudes can’t be sensitive? It was after checking out this new record from Suicideyear that I decided to track back a bit to get a gauge on what was happening with his vacuum packed meld of micro-genres that I came across previous collaborations with mumbly, casual-flow MCs Yung Lean and Rome Fortune. It put an interesting slant on this wholly-instrumental release as my first interpretation of it linked back to some of that delicate, introspective plinkety-plonking late-90s electronica like Isan or Arovane, so it was initially strange to hear raps over the top, especially as they seemed to have an intentionally dumb air of sarcasm that felt totally at odds with the earnest, eyes-closed seriousness of the tracks. Hearing the word ‘ballsack’ dropped provocatively over an iced-out beat that recalls something from an early Autechre album rather than Big Boi or Juicy J was an incongruity that had me wondering if the whole ‘sad boys’ vibe was a send-up of itself; but herein lie the odd parallels that form the foundations of this pristine debut for Software.
Without the vocal element to impose any stoned rudeboy swagger on the music, ‘Remembrance’ comes across as a crystalline trip through a virtual reality walk-in fridge, all grand synthesiser sweeps and bottomless low end bumps, crisp and clear as a PCP bong through an icecap. On one hand you have the cyborg cathedral ambience of Aphex tracks like ‘The Waxen Pith’ or ‘Alberto Balsam’ and the synthetic chamber-nocturnes of Oneohrix Point Never, on the other the hyper-detail and macrocosmic clarity of producers like Arca and XXYYXX. There’s even a wholly appropriate My Bloody Valentine cover version to close things, the digitised reimagining of Shields’ saturated harmonic bends sounding completely in keeping with the preceding tone of the album, leaving you in no doubt that Suicideyear thinks it’s OK to indulge in being blue from time to time.
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