Catalog Nectar is finally out, and predictably (if you've listened to Survey Channels stellar previous work), It's a joyous listen. Spectrum of a Ring and Lilyboat are going to end up on your playlist. There's no stopping it. Four expertly crafted beat-driven nostalgia pills and two delightfully blissful ambient pieces. Accept the inevitable and download this beautiful little EP.
"The latest offering by aural nostalgia wizard, the elusive Survey Channel 'Catalog Nectar' is a shorter and sweeter excursion than last May's 'Along the Wind Spear'. I believe the kids call it an EP. Packed with so much character and so many sweet sticky melodic treats you'd swear you'd just listened to a full length album.
Starting things off right, 'Spectrum of a Ring' sets sail across a vast starry expanse, brimming with retro-futurist optimism, doused in a grainy VHS haze. When the ultra lo-fi beat explodes in after an ambient introductory portion, it really hits its mark, transporting the listener to nostalgic saccharine artifact-ridden heights.
Totenism carries more of a sense of urgency, though more in a mystical sense rather than a grey bureaucratic one, less the kind that deals with the drudgery of everyday living, more spiritually receptive. Though the futurist sensibilities of the opener do indeed pervade the synth textures of the opening arpeggios, complemented wonderfully by the reverberation of the sparse and shuffling percussion work.
A perfect transition is achieved as the digital simulated walls of Totenism seem to dissipate and melt away before your very eyes, before being reimagined in a lush duvet of ambience. As essentially a transition piece, Time between Sync has no right sounding this pretty, yet to hear it glisten triumphantly, evoking warm and bittersweet episodes from times gone by, it works as the EP's centrepiece.
The warping synth-pads of 'Shines Hermetic' bleach the piece in the sun like dessert cow bones. Anchored by the light skittering percussion and disembodied ba-ba-ba-ba-ba's, overall it feels like the soundtrack to a lost-media PBS documentary, 'Shines' assuages any fears that the second half might not measure up to the stunning first.
Lilyboat is the best track on the EP. Sorry for the spoiler. It's difficult to pin down exactly what makes it so. Prime candidates are the sass-soaked beats, or the irresistible warbling key melody, or perhaps the delicate high-octave tubey plucks that ice the shit out of this delicious aural cake. All of the aforementioned ingredients contribute to the sonically delicious mix. You think I'm hyping this glorious slow jam up, I know, but it's going to find it's way onto your playlist.
Scalar Field closes this brief yet metaphysically introspective journey in a subdued declaration of cosmic peaceful intent. What? Oh I just mean it's a nice ambient outro. Really nice in fact. Survey Channel excels so much at lo-fi beat-driven jams that it's easy to forget just how beautiful the percussionless numbers are; sometimes playful, sometimes sombre, evocative, sometimes all three, as is the case here, as things are wrapped up neatly and satisfyingly.
All killer no filler, as they say. Six expertly crafted pieces, twenty one blissful minutes, one very clever composer. No one is going to regret their time spent breathing in Survey Channel's latest masterclass in good electronic composition. Prepare to be blissed-out."
~George Ernst (Triplicate Records)
released September 3, 2021
Written and produced by Matt Donatelli.
Mastered by Michael Southard.
Design by SURVEY CHANNEL.
Thank you to all the listeners and the greater community.
Your continued support and encouragement is priceless.
SURVEY CHANNEL is an exploration of influences and memories. Based in the chilly Rust Belt city of Buffalo, SC combines
layers of atmospheric sound design and intricate rhythms into a carefully curated and developed final mix. Always experimenting with techniques and sounds, he aims to create music that feels outside our present time....more