- Florist is the production alias of Logan Sturrock, a visual artist who has been moonlighting as a DJ in Vancouver's afterparty scene for some time now. The music on Phenomena, his debut EP, fits right into Vancouver's new wave of house music, but Sturrock's take adds a new wrinkle. Where so much of the music from the Mood Hut crew and its associates conjures images of afternoons spent soaking up the sun, beachside beers and BBQs, this record is a reminder of what Vancouver is like for the other nine months of the year: rainy, grey and, sometimes, beautiful.
"See the puddles? Isn't it wonderful? It's my home," says a goofy vocal sample over a rainstorm at the beginning of "Marine Drive." It's hard to imagine a house track that feels more Pacific Northwestern. All of Sturrock's sounds, from his noodly synth melodies to his deep organ stabs (even the well-worn Yeah! Woo! break), are soggy and indistinct, like cardboard that's been sitting out in the misty air. But about two minutes in, as Sturrock brings a dubby piano riff into view, the clouds part to let gorgeous sunshine stream in. It's a clichéd image, sure, but "Marine Drive" truly captures that feeling of volatile Northwest weather, where it's cloudy one moment and idyllic the next. The track ebbs and flows from there, going from cowbell-flecked decadence back to the soothing rain sounds.
The way that Sturrock uses hackneyed elements, like that drum break or vintage organs, also feels fresh—not because his approach is particularly innovative, but because it sounds so effortless. It's also true of "Final Bounce," which is built on some of the same sounds. This time, however, they make for a techno roller that coasts by on eerie pads. Neo Image offers a deep and hypnotic take on "Final Bounce," with some killer basslines that sound like they're digging catacombs underneath. Sturrock returns to "Marine Drive" for an "Internal Dub" that smothers a lot of the detail with heavier kicks, but keeps the melancholy intact.
The emotional quality and slacker pacing of Phenomena paints Sturrock as a producer to watch, but for him, music is just a hobby. His tracks are few and far between (there's only one other, set to come out on Pacific Rhythm), and he doesn't have any more new material on the way. It makes his first EP all the sweeter: like a sudden break in the clouds on a rainy day, it's dazzling and temporary, so you should savor it while it lasts.
A1 Final Bounce
A2 Final Bounce (Neo Image "In Contact" Mix)
B1 Marine Drive
B2 Marine Drive (Internal Dub)