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Tourist, we like U

"U"

Release date: 06 May 2016
7/10
Tourist U
04 May 2016, 10:15 Written by Grant Rindner
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Tourist’s debut solo record is an intricate, melancholic and exceptionally well made LP that traces the arc of a relationship from its beginning stages to its dissolution. The U.K. producer has a deft touch and gift for melody, making U one of the more engaging electronic debuts we’ve seen this year.​

Similar to fellow Londoner The Japanese House, Tourist is uniquely capable of crafting tracks that are simultaneously vast and intimate, a quality that allows listeners to take in U both as a narrative work and simply as atmospheric electronica.

“To Have You Back” is an early highlight, built around twitchy drums and a mournful vocal sample that echoes shades of recent Jamie xx. Lead single “Run” is an impressive tightrope walk, blending bouncy, house-inspired synths and percussion with a waif-like, high-pitched vocal sample.

The onomatopoetic “Waves” is another highlight, as undulating synths coarse through out the mix while more pitch-shifted vocals provide an entrancing melody. Tourist is a skilled and economical sampler, capable of taking a single line or vocal run and building an entire track around it. Field recordings were heavily incorporated into U, but in a way that feels quite organic and true to the album’s overall message of love, loss, and acceptance.

Every record here is given plenty of breathing room, which means U can be a bit of a daunting listen in one sitting, but Tourist does a commendable job mixing up his tempos, soundscapes, and samples to ensure variety. Tracks like “Foolish” and “Separate Ways” speed things up while still staying true to the underlying premise.

Making an instrumental concept record is no easy feat, but Tourist’s U manages to take you through his emotional journey in a nuanced way that showcases his song crafting talent.

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