- Fantastic Man gets weird.
- From the opening notes of Fantastic Man's latest 12-inch, you know things are gonna get weird. "Cloud Manager" chugs along just north of 100 BPM with dreamy synth work, New Age-y vocal samples and a sunset-in-Ibiza piano line.
While that might sound kitschy, Newman has never shied away from exploring the outer limits of his influences—but he always does it with a pure love for the genres he's referencing. It's this sincerity that make his records so damn good, from the early disco and acid-flavored house to his more recent forays into the realm of dub and trance. Newman continues this streak with the debut release for the Test Pressing-assisted sub-label from the Croatian festival Love International, flitting between the genres which make the festival a beloved, sun-kissed gathering—trance, balearic, acid and New Age.
My favorite tracks are when Newman really leans into a trippy aesthetic. Alongside the title track, you can hear this rewarding exploration on "Psychic Monthly," whre increasingly frantic bongo line, demonic synth lines and cowbell meet trancey chords. It has the feel of a spiritual cleansing that threatens to veer into a bad trip. The other tracks are nothing to sneeze at, though they play it more straight, from the vintage Newman of "Time Apprentice"—acid lines and piano—to the breakbeat groover "Lounge Wizard." These two tracks are the ones you're most likely to hear out, but I'd love to hear DJs reaching for Cloud Manager's outré, leftfield tracks.
01. Cloud Manager
02. Lounge Wizard
03. Psychic Monthly
04. Time Apprentice