Signer – Next We Bring You the Fire

Signer – Next We Bring You the Fire

Signer – Next We Bring You the Fire

Isn’t it amazing just how much music can pass us by the wayside, before we’re even able to notice? As Signer, New Zealand native Bevan Smith has already made three other albums that unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of listening to. It’s especially disappointing when one thinks about how much music they feel they have heard and how much they think they know. For many of us, we’ll spend our entire lives loving music with a deep and profound passion and for others, they’ll never understand it. But mostly, no matter how hard you play, how fast you try, or how smart you think you are, you’ll always be behind.

But still, optimism is key in what is easily a good problem, our uphill battle with music and its endless possibilities. Take the title to Signer’s fourth album aside for a moment, because there is nothing controversially harsh about Next We Bring You the Fire. Instead of assuming that this will be something ridiculously booming, it is better described as ambient music that deals in the lighter side of techno. Electronic music that comes close to reaching a high only a few times, Signer’s keyboards and melodies never allow the music to weigh in.

And all of this is a welcome option because even if the title doesn’t fit the music, the music is still – on its own – a mesmerizing amount of goodness. On “We Should Touch Teeth,” an apparent love song, Signer weaves a rustling synth in between tapping beats and a begrudgingly quiet bass. Waiting for a breakthrough of sounds, it never comes but instead, you have handclaps and soaring, almost choir-like vocals. For all of the outs Signer had available, you wouldn’t think he’d downplay it as much as he does and yet, it works. Elsewhere, on “Languidly Good,” the beats come stronger and this time, they are brought to the forefront. Smith’s misty vocals are lost in the obscure fog and what can only be described as machine gun barrels bring the music to a promising escape.

According to the press release, Next We Bring You the Fire was “inspired by the sonic possibilities of synths, the sophistication of modern pop and the sci-fi other-worldliness of Techno,” and if you really try, you can sort of hear this description in the music. For his spectrum, Smith could very well be matching the haziness with stunning capacity. Except, Smith has the tendency to get lost in his own cloudy atmospherics and more often than not, they muddle his initial proposition. And even it it’s meant to be indistinct or even unclear, you’re left wanting that directly affecting moisture that never comes.

The choppy time of “Don’t Be a Forest Cow” lends an almost dubstep feel over a mostly IDM departure for Smith. While he’s trying his best to channel some kind of Junior Boys moxy, it lacks the focal point they’re known for. Things change when the bass arrives and it allows you to forget the repetitiveness that is occurring behind it with a slamming of propulsion. Don’t be mislead, Next We Bring You the Fire is an accomplished album on its own regard. And it’s definitely something that warrants checking out his other music, but it just might not live up to the other cream at the top of the crop of electronic albums for this year.

Carpark Records