TRUST – Joyland
Joyland is an immense solo creation from Toronto’s chief soundscaper, Robert Alfons. Gallant, atmospheric and desirably ostentatious – it makes a proud follow-up to his 2012 debut, TRST. With this genre it’s easy for an entire album to get boring. Been there, heard that, right? TRUST succeeds at making each track stand apart from each other, whilst crafting the album as a whole and firmly standing his ground in his own style. By no means is this a sit-at-home album; Joyland deserves both your legs and some liquid rehydration. Whilst tracks are stressed but beautiful everything is tied together through clean, high-quality post-production.
Ethereal opening track, ‘Slightly Floating’, is dogged by a dormant bass which hints at shadowy things to come. Thankfully, the vocals don’t take ownership of this album, instead working with it to highlight the darkness that can be found in all house and trance music. Additionally, there is a relentless Jekyll and Hyde quality in his voice. They are pitch-shifted, modulated and flung from bottom bass to flowery falsetto. ‘Are We Arc’ is a perfect example of TRUSTS’ effeminate chorus contrasting with thick verses; a marriage made in techno heaven. TRUST takes upbeat synth-pop and casts it into the shadows, ultimately, creating that contention which characterises his music. There are no half measures in Joyland, it’s a simple case of throwing in everything that’s rich and syncopated and somehow making it work.
With three note hooks and lofty, helium tones – flagship tracks like ‘Capitol’ and ‘Joyland’ stand as a great introduction for those who are new to the rebirth of ‘80s club, before being taken on to the erratic and avant-garde second half of the album.
Seventh track, ‘Four Gut’, is a stellar invention based on heavily phased and multi layered synths. High timbre percussion cuts between the threatening lyrics “line ‘em up”, whilst the sound of broken robot keys marches off-beat. This displays TRUST as an expressionist – showing off abilities in sound control, twisting motifs and crafting unrelenting rhythms. Although playful in a creative way, this is a serious album. Clichés are remade, drum machines are back on stage and don’t say goodbye to those galactic lasers just yet. TRUST doesn’t pay homage to the ‘80s, he damn well rewrites it.
Get your face in it as it’s OUT NOW!