- Anthony Naples crash-landed in dance music pretty much out of nowhere, creating a hubbub with the first song he ever wrote. Since then we've watched him grow, moving through a number of different dance styles. Perhaps the most compelling bit has been his artsy phase, partly represented by two EPs on The Trilogy Tapes. He continues that streak with his debut album, Body Pill. Neither a victory lap nor a grand artistic statement, Naples' first LP is at home on Four Tet's Text Records. It's full of bright little ideas and sketches, as if to offer a peek into Naples' personal notebook.
The first thing you notice about Body Pill is that it's short. At just 28 minutes, you could call it an EP, but it has an album's breadth of ideas, and in any case Naples has never been one to drag things on for too long. The next thing you'll notice, as opener "Ris" fades from ambient wash into a synth-pop march, is that we're not getting dance floor Naples here. "Ris," "Used To Be" and "Changes" all feel more influenced by the outré electronic music that's found a home in Brooklyn. In Naples' hands those influences turn warm and sanguine.
Body Pill is an inviting record: the second those minty fresh strings come in "Abrazo," it becomes irresistible, even if it's nothing we haven't heard before. The breezily off-the-cuff way Naples assembles these tracks feels natural and intuitive. It's the mark of an artist who learned to make music himself, on his own terms, rather than following anyone else's rules or guidance.
Even the smaller moments have merit, like "Pale," a two-minute diversion that sounds like a gentle snowfall and then just disappears. Body Pill is thoroughly understated throughout. It's an odd little album that only shows us part of the Anthony Naples puzzle, which is probably appropriate for an artist whose work seems to come in small and unusual bursts of inspiration.
A4 Way Stone
B3 Used To Be