The reclusive tones of The Soft Moon betray its humble origins: the project was never meant to be heard. But private press doesn't remain private for long, in most cases, and Luis Vasquez soon shared his melancholic wasteland of cold synth and post-punk with the world. Deeper is what it says: another additive work that offers more details to his personal truths using the same downbeat but forcefully melodic sound.
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Luis Vasquez’ ‘Deeper’ is the soundtrack to a world that’s turned noir permanently. It borrows the neon streetlights of Dirty Beaches’ propulsive, synth-driven ‘Drifters’ and occasionally suggests the ferocity of Pharmakon’s percussively buzzsaw debut; it sounds, too, like a miniature re-enactment of Have a Nice Life’s ‘Deathconsciousness’, with all the same mumbling, screaming, and kicking against the world outside. Mainly, though, it just wants to be gorgeous, a marriage of every subdued genre into a very emotional resolution. It succeeds.
With an onslaught of gothic ideas to actualise, Vasquez has crafted a mini epic that maintains a modest vibe amidst deafening drums and screeching electronics. His music might, but Vasquez rarely dramatises: on “Inward” he whispers through the dense forest of electronics, while on the discordant and sharp “Wasting” he sounds breathy but in control. On “Wrong”, a cut of late-era NiN bravado -- with all the synth-squelching in tact -- his voice is processed to sound like a minor technical element, the futurist beats working their way to the top while he climbs down.
‘Deeper’ isn’t the sound of an artist creating melodrama, but rather the sound of living through it: the sustained piano chords on “Without” would sound utterly ridiculous in a lot of artist’s hands, but Vasquez responds to them stoically, reading lovelorn lines (“without you in my heart”, etc.) with horrifying remove. His voice gets processed into decay, which sounds ludicrous but not insincere -- like Depeche Mode, Vasquez totally sells us his story, even if we’re listening to it ironically in a decade’s time.
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