Glitter Wasteland continues the battle of vocals vs. electronica
Mixing electronic music and vocals can sometimes be a risky move. Sometimes it can make people create an analog between the artist and the more unsavory annals of the genre (i.e. the dance that has evolved from 90’s Europop). There are few artists who can keep themselves an important part of the electronic music scene (see the Knife, Crystal Castles, Holly Herndon).
That’s the ultimate question to ask with Glitter Wasteland’s EP1, a collection of electronic tracks where the producer, you guessed it, also provides vocals. The vocals are serviceable enough, but provide no real imprint. A voice that’s neither here nor there – there’s no massive amount of character and emotion, like a Paul Simon or Scott Walker, nor is there a virtuosity and tone, a lá Mariahs and Beyoncés.
At the same time, however, this approach works well with the production. Dark and icy, the industrial lugubriousness that occupies the tracks gives the impression of Northern waste grounds and industrial skylines, while also throwing in a dash of neon coolness. It wouldn’t be out of place soundtracking a more recent Nicholas Winding Refn motion picture.
Perhaps that’s where my problems also lie with the EP. The tracks are quite background – too cool for their own good. It gives the impression that as a producer Glitter Wasteland is focused on style over substance. While the collection of sounds and the laid-backness displayed here gives a sense of cold, brooding nightlife that is undeniably strut and pout inducing, I can’t help but feel that at some point there needs to be something a bit more guttural and unhinged to give this robot a heart.
‘EP 1’ will be out on 1st July via 61 Seconds Records.