[glances at album artwork] Mmm…yes…the ’80s are strong in this one.
[snaps out of trance] Oh! Hey everyone! Welcome back to another edition of Retrocution. It’s been, perhaps, a bit longer than I’d like — life, am I right? — but it’s finally time to kick it retro-style again. In this week’s edition, we’re going to take a look at Phases, the latest album from SelloRekT /LA Dreams.
For those unfamiliar, SelloRekT /LA Dreams (letters capitalized per the artist’s Facebook; don’t shoot the blogger!) is the alias of Kevin Montgomery, a Los Angeles-based (duh) producer. Take a look at his Bandcamp catalog and you’ll see that Phases, released February 27th, marks Montgomery’s 52nd offering under that moniker since he started back in 2012. So, the guy’s prolific as all hell. And tying it all together is a commitment to exploring the full breadth of sounds the ’80s brought to the music world.
In a 2015 interview with Vehlinggo, Montgomery argued that “the most that I want out of SelloRekT /LA Dreams is that through my music people will come to know parts of the ‘80s scene that aren’t just outrun and dark synth. More people will realize just how diverse the 80s were.” Montgomery’s records might not quicken your pulse, but they’ll almost certainly pull you in with an irresistible charm.
And that’s true of Phases as well. “Visionaries” kicks things off with a bouncy rhythm and gradually builds into a hooky anthem. Just two songs later, the title track takes us on a quieter, more sentimental trek through time. (Picture sneaking out for a moment alone with your date at senior prom in the ’80s — that’s roughly the vibe on this one.) Later, “Grit” neatly toes the line of the outrun style, without fully leaping across it and overwhelming us.
In short, Montgomery takes the listener to several different places on Phases. On an album full of highlights, picking a favorite becomes a bit of a challenge. But at the moment, I’d have to give the nod to “Binary,” for its infectious, echoed keyboard line. It shimmers in its own way, encapsulating all the while the theme of Phases and of Montgomery’s overall body of work as SelloRekT /LA Dreams in general: this stuff can and should make you smile.
Mission accomplished here. Give it a spin and have some fun.