- Footprintz member Clarian North steps out for his first full solo release with Chemical Gardens on Visionquest. The result is a more lavish version of the Canadian duo's laidback synth pop. The EP's crowning achievement is "Claire," a collaboration with Guy Gerber that goes overdrive into cellphone-waving territory. Unapologetically capitalizing on the most mawkish impulses of their respective obsessions with melancholy, "Claire" practically hits you over the head with how regal it's trying to be. Careful ivory tinkling and gently sighing vocals add to the loved-up mood. Lucky for them, it works—it's hard to imagine a more evocative way to end a DJ set, or a more rousing way to begin one.
The remaining five tracks tend to feel more like sketches, albeit detailed ones, a brash sense of luxury where everything is sick with oversaturated colour. The best is the "Claire"-lite "Renaissance," with its plaintive vocal refrain. "Remove Control" hits harder, breeding blog house with Italo. "Through Your Mind" plays with some workaday squelch and "U (Unfinished)" is the kind of louche pop you'd expect from Footprintz, but without the vocals. None of these tracks, the brief and unremarkable "Destroy, She Says" included, match up to the majesty of "Claire," but they make up a solid EP with one hell of a cherry on top.
A1 Claire feat. Guy Gerber
A2 Destroy, She Says
B1 Remove Control
B2 Through Your Mind feat. Spaceman
B3 U (Unfinished)