Gatekeeper

Exo

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The duo known as Gatekeeper is one of the rising stars in an offshoot of electronic dance music known as "vaporwave." A decidedly dystopian genre, the progenitors of this style stitch together found sounds, samples, and glistening beats for a hyper-glassine sound that would feel equally appropriate playing underneath a modern cut of Blade Runner or a first-person shooter zombie attack video game. Unlike their genre's name, Gatekeeper's work doesn't flitter away into the ether. This is fully grounded dance music covered in the glint of neon and the glow of an iPhone. Where their debut album loses its footing is in their approach to production. Songs build and build and build toward a glorious apex, but then quickly die out, not letting listeners truly have the space to lose themselves in the vintage acid beats and squiggling synth noise. Bumping bass-heavy tracks like "Aero" and the warped-out landscapes of "Hydrus" could easily stretch out to double the length without feeling padded or boring. That's taking into consideration our current digital download/YouTube age where people take albums in only small bite-sized chunks. Swallow this album whole, letting the peaks and valleys of its cinematic reach melt into one another as it moves forward toward its soft sprung conclusion.

blue highlight denotes track pick