Portable, Into Infinity

[Perlon]


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Whether recording as Portable or Bodycode, there’s no denying that Alan Abrahams is an album producer. He’s reliably released an LP every two years since 2002’s Futuristic Experiments #005, accompanied by a stream of singles with an uncommon sense of vision. Abrahams’ tracks often feel like hermetic worlds teeming with activity, a tendency that could make an entire album an exhaustive experience. If this has been an occasional pitfall in the past, it’s completely absent on Into Infinity, his first full-length for Perlon.

If anything, the LP is actually gracefully paced, as Abrahams juxtaposes its most banging, clattering moments with restrained balladry. His baritone vocals are at the forefront more than ever before, and his signature frenetic house is mixed with a dramatic synth-pop influence that echoes groups like Depeche Mode and Japan. There are a few guests, and thankfully none of their contributions feel incongruous with the album’s sound. Efdemin composes “One Way,” which builds on 4/4 kicks and a more linear structure than most of Portable’s material, but its consistent sound palette and Abrahams’ vocals keep it firmly in line. And Abrahams’ longtime friend Lakuti provides vocals for the stepping “A Deeper Love” — a sure highlight, as her house-diva approach provides a refreshing contrast to his pervasive stoic crooning.

Into Infinity is ostensibly Abrahams’ “love” album, inspired by a healthy relationship, and it shows, both in the bright production sheen and the lyrics. For example, the rising, hopeful opener “Making Holes” repeats the line “you’re making holes/in my darkness.” Nevertheless, the LP seems equally concerned with that “darkness.” Last year’s solemn, pleading “Find Me” is a centerpiece, and the slow, tropical syncopations of “Island Of Thought” find him picturing “you with someone else/someone other than me” atop a lush and plaintive synthetic backdrop. The LP is all the richer for this contrast, detailing the fear and solitude surrounding even the most ideal love. Abrahams hasn’t changed his sound as much as polished it, and the 10 tracks here are among his most mature, consuming works to date.

blub  on March 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

this album totally owns

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