Cygnus – Newmark Phase / CPU
Retro Futurism; the phrase wasn’t coined to describe this album, but as a way of capturing its feel, it fits perfectly.
Dallas based Cygnus first appeared on the excellent Icasea label with his Wrowreck EP back in 2010 and had an album out via the same imprint earlier this year. Newmark Phase, his new album is the first release on Central Processing Unit and it makes strong moves from the start.
Opener Atari Lovers is a 4/4 slab of slow motion techno that samples, if my fading memory is correct; Missile Command from the must have console of my youth and straight away had me taken back to a time of Star Wars, BMX bikes and Street Sounds tapes borrowed from friends older brothers.
Everybody will have their own favorites from this album in no time, Hungry DJ’s had me. Such a simple, effective riff. Quite minimal and yet still full of Drexciyan menace.
Title track Newmark Phase is pure Blade Runner; if the often discussed remake/reboot ever gets underway they have a ready made closing sequence theme right here.
The closing three tracks of this album are pure dance-floor workouts; Private Feelings, Red District Girls and Turner Phase all once again bring back memories and take me back in time to the early Warp Records years.
The production throughout Newmark Phase is as flawless and ‘retro futuristic’ as the design of the Central Processing Unit label itself. If you go digital, this release has a PDF enclosed in your download so you can build your own CD cover which is exactly what Raymond Baxter had in mind on Tomorrow’s World back in 1981.
Central Processing Unit as a label looks set to be a force to be reckoned with. I think a new buy on sight label has arrived.