The only thing missing from Benny Boeldt’s sophomore (but hardly sophomoric) effort is an 8-bit title sequence, inviting you to “Come with us now on a journey through time and space”. While there certainly isn’t a short supply of 80s nostalgia “memory shrines” out there, Boeldt sets himself apart with an arsenal of resplendent beats and bitpop handiwork, while under the influence of some very notable genre pioneers. In short, Adventure is a post-chillwave Anamanaguchi for the insatiable.
Wearing his Yellow Magic Orchestra and New Order influences on his sleeves, Boeldt builds castles of tetris bricks, where each beat hits and clicks right into place. And each time the melody sinks, you feel yourself shrink a little bit from being so awestruck in the face. This is 100% glossy electro-pop, with the sheen of a winning slickback, best exemplified in the first half, from the euphoric falsetto in ‘Feels Like Heaven’ to the howling lasers in ‘Fool’s Paradise’. Adventure is holed up in a silver screen vacuum, glorifying your every escapist tendencies.
The downside to having such shiny songs is that the duller ones are that much easier to spot. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if many of the songs were cut in half. The latter half of the album includes loopy club-ready bangers like ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Relax the Mind’serving as interludes that are more like watching home instructional videos whilst under the influence of MDMA than that of easy listening. There are, however, gems like ‘Another World’, which smacks of a Zonoscoping Cut Copy filtered through a fog machine, with a softer and more vulnerable delivery.
Having toured with and personally chauffeured Dan Deacon, one of the founding members of the Baltimore-based Wham City art collective, Boeldt is no stranger to blip-happy jamming. This album, which owes as much to M83’s ‘Kim and Jessie’ and Duran Duran’s ‘Rio’ as it does to video game consoles, wouldn’t be out of place neatly stacked between Neon Indian and Hot Chip. If Boeldt’s self-titled debut album was an Xbox, here’s a new spin on it – the Xbox 360.