I remember the first time I heard Slighter, the brainchild of Portland producer/ musician Colin Allrich. I had heard the project mentioned in music circles and knew he had a vast catalogue used in television and soundtracks. Expectations, though, fail to prepare. When you hear Slighter, the room expands. The soundscapes Allrich creates are larger than life and the production is unquestionably smooth. Whether it is hard hitting industrial such as “The Hunt” (QRO review) or a sprawling epic like Cause and Effect EP (QRO review), genre-wise, not much stays in something you could corner into a category. Words like electronic, cinematic, edgy won’t disappoint but it would be a disservice to the listener to tell them to experience it in any particular format. The joy is in figuring it out for yourself.
The newest single off of full length Automata, “Undertow”, due Spring 2019, is a dreamy dark journey accentuated by Allrich’s silky vocals and pulsing beat. There is real movement in the song and lyrics evoking trauma that goes unseen, whether physical or metaphorical, and is again left up to the listener. It’s important that music asks us questions and leaves us wanting to know more. If anything “Undertow” invokes a sense of subdued panic bubbling to the surface yet trapped. It’s a dark enjoyable track.
The single has two remixes by L.A. duo Dance Spirit. The first is a dancier take on “Undertow” with a haunting almost jazz piano. The second is a loungy down-tempo version. Both are excellent takes on the song and are included with the single.
Video for “Undertow”: