ARP In Light Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

...this is merely art for art’s sake.

Kate Sharp 2007

Arp is Alexis Georgopoulus, San Francisco based artist, writer and musician best known for being one of the founding members of dance-punk outfit, Tussle. Carrying on with some of the minimalistic tendencies of his former band, In Light is never overtly bleak, but rather barren in sound and devoid of any of the audio nuances usually associated within the electronic genre. Opening track “St Tropez”, with its mindless repetition sounds akin to the noise an eight year old might make if given a pulse machine, a synthesizer and a cassette recorder. Although this simplicity is usually a refreshing escape from the often frenetic world of beeps and glitches that electronic music is so usually littered with, the scaled back nature of this album seems joyless in the extreme.

Instead of being some audio revelation, the absence of drum machines and bass make for soulless listening: the very heart seems to be missing. “Potentialities” makes and attempt at trying to inject some warmth into the proceedings, but all attempts fall flat: the complete overuse of syths would have even sounded ridiculous in a late 70s television programme. The overwhelming impression brought to the fore is that this is merely art for art’s sake, and there is no palpable passion here, just an audacious art experiment, which doesn’t quite work. In Light is the size zero of albums: despite being frighteningly chic, it is just bones surrounding by a thin covering of flesh. There is certainly no meat to get hold of here nor is there any trace of warmth emanating from this emaciated frame.

In Light shoots towards to early Kraftwerk and Cluster, and at points you think that it could reach those lofty heights, but, it misses the goal posts by miles. Despite heralding from those sun-drenched shores of California, which are so synonymous with images of sun, sand and that So-Cal carefree attitude, In Light seems a little cold and contrived by comparison. A little too monotonous for clubs and bars and too barren sounding to listen to by yourself, this is a sonic experiment without too much experimenting.

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