Review Summary: An insightful, reflective release that's only slightly overdrawn.
Everyone knows loud and obnoxious electronic music is the current trend in popular music. This is a shame because a lot of the actual quality coming out of the genre is the down tempo, ambient approach to the sound. It's a sound that seems to be more open to interpretation, allowing the listener to plug their own story around the sound and create their own experience - even if all the listener is doing is sitting in a chair in front of a computer. Ambient electronic music is an open field for brainstorming and imagining the future. It's possible this was what fueled DFRNT when he created Fading
The primary characteristic of Fading
to jump out at the listener is it's extremely clean. There are few, if any, moments where noisy distortion is used at all. However, it's with this clean approach where the listener receives an almost dream-like experience and becomes stuck within the artist's imagined universe. This is not to say the dream is stagnant; there are changes in speed, dynamics, and samples throughout the album's duration. Effects are not overused and the album does not become tiresome. A strong variety of sounds (harnessing keyboards, snares, symbols, and synthesizers) works well for keeping the experience interesting. There's absolutely no problem distinguishing the tracks from one another. And regarding the vocal samples, there is only one instance of the high-pitched, over-emotional, whiny tyranny used ad nauseam by other artists with a sound similar to DFRNT.
While all the tracks fit well together, there isn't really a general all-encompassing flow to the album. But it's not like there needs to be. Each subsequent track can be seen as the next step within the journey presented by the album, and as all journeys the main goal is to remain reflective but continue moving forward. And move forward the album does. Boredom seldom flourishes in the world of Fading
. It may only occasionally set in given the length of some of the tracks, with half of the songs clocking in from seven to eleven minutes, but it is never apparent enough to become a real issue over the duration of the album.
is a strong sophomore release from a rising electronic artist. It doesn't break any barriers or push any boundaries. However, DFRNT definitely knows his prerequisites, and builds on them just enough to create something of quality that's fairly unique at the same time. Hopefully, DFRNT can continue to grow this lucid dream in the future.