Tickling tendrils crept up my appendages, stroking my nerves while giving my arms fission.
No, drugs were not the stimulant that evoked this feeling. It was the album Velocity : Design : Comfort by the dream pop group, Sweet Trip.
Melding and Molding the sounds of the funky new age of computers and design into an inventively dreamy creation, Velocity : Design : Comfort delivers a soft but detailed punch. This 2003 record takes hold of the newly emerging aesthetics of the internet. Surfing on sonic waves imagined and executed fluently, the possibly problematic 1.2 hour length is carried well, and momentum is never lost.
Sweet Trip has brought plenty of substance to the table of intelligent dance music. You Will Never Know Why offers a more guitar oriented buzz, while Alura brings us on a hike through mountains of deep bass and looped synthesizers. However, both of these records do not touch upon the raw experimentation of V:D:C.
One of the most attractive features of the album is its polarity. Tracks diverge and melt from humming psychedelic shoegaze guitar riffs into blaring industrial music messes. For example, the opening track, “Tekka”, intricately depicts a regurgitation of fast breaking, quick slamming notes that impact from all sides. However, at the end of the song, a distorted drum beat cuts effortlessly into “DSCO”, a track that paints a picture of the disco age, but with a modernized spin that subtly creates a feeling of unease while still prompting relaxation.
Despite its success, unease is a possibly negative drawback to the album. The intricately designed melodies and sharp notes in songs such as “Fruitcake and Cookies” give an uncomfortable sensation that could possibly detract some listeners’ opinions of the record as a whole. Also, the glitch ridden sound design injects a broken accent of unpleasantness that take away from tracks such as “Design : 1”, although this may have been the intended effect. For those who enjoy and appreciate such feelings, however, these tracks are held in higher esteem.
Overall, the soundscapes and energetic intricacies of Velocity : Design : Comfort present a plethora of well-designed emotions. The future came and passed, and it can be found here.