By Trystan MacDonald
Beginning as a solo project focused on experimenting with analog synths and various instrumentals resulted in the releases of Soaked (2006), and Set to Zero (2010). [debut], under the direction of primary producer, Gareth Thomas, has re-invented itself with the newest release, Postcards from Berlin. Described by the composer as a rotating artistic collective, the third release under the [debut] name, is the first song-based album for the artist.
The early moments of the opening track, “Not the One,” are rather unimpressive, as I expected a far more captivating and influential beginning. However, as the primary chorus emerges and the song’s namesake arrives lyrically, the entire atmosphere of the track shifts into a far more intriguing piece of electronic music; easily reminiscent of Massive Attack’s ability to control momentum and cultivate numerous tones and soundscapes. Depeche Mode is, of course, another immediate connection that can be made to [debut]’s particular style of alternative music.
The secondary track, “More Than This,” is an interesting blend of industrial-pop, and while the vocals aren’t nearly as dramatic as singer Dave Gahan, the production is rather impressive. Gareth Thomas’s ability to navigate a composition through numerous instrumental layers is very apparent throughout the album. His particular fondness for piano and strings take away from the ‘alternative’ electronic element, creating a strong gothic foundation. While these particular compositions are indeed beautiful, they tend to be a little irksome when over saturated; smothering the electronic rhythms underneath.
The potential for [debut]’s music, given its constant inclusion of other artists and Gareth’s ability to generate an atmosphere, is extensive; and will no doubt expand to be a louder and stronger musical project, all of which would be built upon this satisfactory debut, Post Cards from Berlin.