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White Noise: Troy Gunner – Fool’s Gold

Friday, 3 February 2012

Troy Gunner – Fool’s Gold

Label: Mindset

Fool’s Gold

Dancing In The Leaves

The latest release on Indigo’s offbeat label, which has featured the likes of Synkro and XXXY in the past, comes courtesy of new producer Troy Gunner, and it’s a worthy addition to the Mindset canon. It also represents the lightest and airiest release on the label to date. Each of the three tracks here showcase an incredibly promising new producer whose not-quite-dance tunes are always cerebral and stimulating without ever losing their sense of the groove. Gunner applies textured field recordings and clipped samples to beautiful effect here, recalling some of the best work of White Noise favourites Mount Kimbie while still managing to create a sound entirely his own.

Opening cut Fool’s Gold is the most maximalist and upbeat tune of the three, where stuttering percussive claps and clicks are applied cleverly to a wide array of textured samples, lending the track a welcome swing. None of the clipped sounds used here feel extraneous, with an inviting ambient wash shifting behind low-key vocal cries and a simple guitar riff that feels more a motif than a melodic line. When using such minute samples, a producer must have a very keen sense of timing, to make sure the track doesn’t become too bitty or incoherent. Gratifyingly, the sounds here are used with a keen precision and sense of structure, and feel neither overwhelming nor randomly pasted onto the composition. Second cut Head In Hands is equally impressive, with a finely syncopated beat introducing a huge moody drop of a reverb-drenched chord progression. The mood here is a great deal more melancholy, with vocals pitched down and individual elements rising from the intense atmosphere; a spattering echo from the beats leading to a surprising and forceful second drop. The deep soundfield of those big chords and ambient hiss makes the track unusually immersive, and for me it’s the clear highlight of this strong release.

Final cut Dancing In The Leaves is probably the most minimal composition on offer, in which Gunner builds slowly to a piece of subdued intensity. A funky bassline occasionally emerges over a sparse soundscape of textured percussion, but what’s remarkable is just how controlled the pacing here is, truly showcasing how much he can do with so little. Across these three tracks Gunner shows himself to be a very intriguing prospect, building on a sound that, while familiar, feels like it was never truly explored to its full potential in the ‘Post-Dubstep’ landscape.  Mindset, too, seems the perfect home for his vivid and cerebral compositions, and this EP is more than enough to mark Gunner out as one to watch. 


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