Northern Flux by Antipole is the Gold Standard That Was Worth The Wait.
Antipole has been teasing the release of their Full Length Album for a few months now, Letting a few tracks leak out here and there. I have listened to each one of those singles and it has only excited me more about what is to come from this complex dark electro artist. I was lucky to receive an advance copy out of the blue from Karl, who is Antipole.
Each of the tracks have some collaboration from other Artists and it adds to the shine of the entire audio journey. Each track is carefully pieced with the perfect balance of darkness and romance. Subtle things like a static buzz lasting in the background of the track on “Shadow Lover” adds to the intricacy of layers forming each songs depth. The heavy picking style on certain guitar notes cause just the right amount of distortion to overlay the emotion and emphasis you need to feel at that moment.
Just when you think it is all dark romance, an up tempo track like “Summer Never Ends” begins to take shape in front of your mind and just as fast as it forms, it escapes, just to be sub-consciously tapped or drummed on your desk hours later. Songs like “Magnolia Skies” with multiple guitar lines and romantic whispers in the background show you another world that is painted perfectly using the thickest shades of grey.
Acoustic drums on “All Alone” bring a life to the track that makes you want to sway as they pound away and suck you in when the beat goes into half time. It adds a great reminder that just when you get used to hearing electronic thumps, Antipole knows how to come at you from all angles.
The previously released singles “Someday 45” and “Narcissus” have made it to the full length and feel perfectly at home moving the album in the direction intended. “Narcissus” has that perfect driving bass line and beat that makes you think the world may be moving just a little too fast and you get to watch it in time lapse. I believe the video may have also alluded to this exact description. It shows that Antipole has a way of painting a pictures that once all the pieces are in place, it feels like home to anyone who enjoys dark tones.
The track “Distant Fall” is a great track that seems to musically wave goodbye, but still entices you to hit the repeat button on the player. The synth tones seem to cradle the listener and ween you away from the song at just the right tempo. The closing track is a great cover of Joy Division’s “Insight” and feels great to be updated with the Antipole shine.
I have waited for the Antipole full length for quite some time and I can say that every minute of listening to it was worth its wait. The album has fantastic production quality, the perfect amount of emotion conveyed in every heavily picked guitar note and just the right amount of synth warmth when needed. Special guests Paris Alexander and Eirene lend their talents on multiple tracks and layer in perfectly to bring the perfect amount of life where it is needed in the track. Paris Alexander also produced, mixed and mastered this collection and all the levels and eq are perfectly balanced to taste and enhance the emotion.
Northern Flux is everything I wanted in a full length Antipole album and that is something you don’t get to say everyday when reviewing a new release. If this sets the gold standard for Antipole, then I don’t see anything but fantastic dark shades of platinum in the future.
- onemanstanding 23.sept.2017