It’s a beautiful day, your best girl is by your side and you’re cruising down the freeway in your open topped Ferrari Testarossa. The clock is ticking as you weave through the traffic to get to your destination on time. Admittedly with such reckless driving you’ll have the odd accident, possibly even causing your car to flip many feet into the air and smash down on the asphalt. But fear not – as what would normally result in your meals being delivered through a straw – just gets you a dirty look from the beautiful blonde you’ve just catapulted into a road sign at 180 mph.
Alas, this isn’t real life. That’s all about waiting for five minutes at the traffic lights, only to progress seven meters as the learner driver in front of you stalls yet again. This is the world of SEGA’s seminal Out Run arcade game. This writer remembers the first time he forced 10p into its coin receptacle; standing slack-jawed as he twisted the radio dial to select the music to accompany his impending vehicular mayhem. Granted there were only three songs on offer, but what a selection of electronic driving classics they were.
Nearly twenty-five years since it’s release, Planet Mu’s new signing Oriol has seemingly managed to find the rest of the radio stations. He’s put the car-keys to one side and kindly brought them together on his spectacular album Night And Day.
The eleven tracks on offer are a assembled from funky keyboards, extroverted beats and moog synths all screaming summertime as loud as their collective circuits will let them. Liberally taking cues from disco, Detroit and Stevie Wonder but never losing their own identity. Everything here shimmers with Oriol’s distinctive sound. Whether it’s the ambient waves of ‘Coconut Coast’, that sweep from the speakers hand-in-hand with laid-back percussion or the hi-energy vocals and euphoric keyboard runs of ‘The Process’ – their parentage is never in doubt.
Refreshingly he doesn’t achieve these retro vibes by resorting to SID generated sounds or 16-bit sampling. Instead everything is as shiny and new as the bonnet that houses the aforementioned V-12 engine. Jam-packed-production techniques super-charge every note, filling them with vital and vibrant life, readying them to leap from the turntable at a moment’s notice. Close your eyes for a second and you’ll be back in the arcades, screaming round a corner whilst being serenaded by a full band.
Night And Day exudes joy from every pore and is a unique release from an artist effortlessly bridging the future and past to create something wonderful and new.