There are few things more disappointing than having your expectations for a highly anticipated entity dashed, whether it's a book, movie, record—or anything, really (even people). Based on the twosongs he's made available to date, I expected good things from Chrome Canyon's debut, Elemental Themes, but I feared that an entire album of Morgan Z's big, bold, theatrical moves might be too much to take at one time.
Fortunately, it isn't. In fact, it's pretty great, even if that last track bites Air's spooky soundtrack for The Virgin Suicides pretty hard, but I can think of worse reference points, and the rest of the record doesn't feel quite so familiar.
Listen to all 12 cuts now courtesy of Hype Machine. As my pal, Andrew, put it, "I've been waiting for an album this year that begs to be full volume." Me too.
And if you can't get enough Morgan Z, here are a couple of his remixes. Considering the similarities to Air, I'm not surprised that he's worked with their friends (and label mates) in Phoenix...whose lead singer, Thomas Mars, just happens to be married to Sofia Coppola, director of The Virgin Suicides.
As for George Benson, I've always had a soft spot for the guy, in part because my uncle was a fan. He's never really been cool, but I find little shame in his game, and Morgan uncovers the trance-dance heart driving this smooth-jazz jam.
Stone's Throw releases Elemental Themes on CD and gatefold vinyl on Oct 9.