Sweet Trip
Velocity : Design : Comfort


4.9
classic

Review

by Hyperion1001 EMERITUS
May 2nd, 2015 | 1130 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: i know you too well

When genres finally emerge from their formative stages and enter a classical period, there is usually either a single work, or a group of works, that can be considered “classics”. These classics define and display all the semantic and syntactic qualities of the genre, such that they are easily recognizable and exist in a wholly unique form in comparison to the works that influenced them. With this definition, it is entirely acceptable to say that My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless is the genre defining shoegaze album to which all other works within the genre can be, and are, compared. It’s not simply that Loveless is the quintessential example of shoegaze, but its massive popularity means that it is also the most visible and recognizable album in the genre. Still, what is perhaps most interesting about Loveless isn’t its status as the quintessential shoegaze classic, but that, even though it routinely ends up on lists of the greatest rock albums of all time, it very nearly isn’t a rock album at all. Or, at least, isn’t a rock album as we know it.

That’s where Sweet Trip’s Velocity : Design : Comfort comes in. If what Loveless ended up doing with rock music was mutating it into something almost entirely foreign but still recognizable, then Velocity : Design : Comfort is the final expansion of that idea, taking the spirit of Loveless and adding just enough to tip it over the edge into the realm of something completely new. To put it simply, Loveless is a rock album that doesn’t want to be a rock album. Velocity : Design : Comfort is the extension of this idea to its ideological conclusion, and the result is an album that was created in the spirit of the rock legacy while being altogether alien at the same time. It is an album that finally takes “shoegaze” to a place it’s never been before, and the result is nothing less than revolutionary and stunning.

Sigmund Freud was the first to coin the term “unheimlich”, which in German translates to “unhomelike”. In English, we know this term as the uncanny, or the idea that things can exist which are unsettling simply because they are so precise, yet unknown at the same time. Velocity : Design : Comfort is a perfect example of the uncanny in sounds. Humans are constantly bombarded by sounds from the second our ears form in a womb until we either die, or lose the ability to hear. We can close our eyes, shut our nose, deny ourselves taste, and avoid touch, but, of all the five senses, hearing is the most ubiquitous. We hear everything, everywhere, and most of it gets filtered out as background noise unless we focus specifically on the ubiquity of these sounds, which is especially noisy and synthetic in the landscape of a technological, post-industrial world. With Velocity : Design : Comfort, Sweet trip have crafted a “rock music of the home”, an environmental soundscape which uses electronic approximations of industrial and domestic noises in place of rock instruments to create an uncanny valley of sound, recognizable structures and ideas that seem familiar in form but completely alien in timbre.

But Velocity : Design : Comfort isn’t frightening or unsettling. Instead of focusing on the off-putting nature of the uncanny, Sweet Trip have crafted an album that is astonishingly beautiful, taking the synthetic, industrial sounds of domestic space and highlighting their contextual beauty. Traditional rock instruments show up at times, but are never anything more than ghosts of influence, kind of like turning on a television set and hearing the distorted phantoms of rock transmitted over analog radio frequencies. The back half of the album contains some of the most sublime and effective “shoegaze” music ever put onto a record, which is proof in-and-of-itself that Velocity : Design : Comfort isn’t singularly focused on concept. It is still, at its heart, music, and because of that it is able to elevate it’s concept far above simply being an ideology, kind of like Loveless did all the way back in 1991.

Inheriting the spirit of My Bloody Valentine and doing far more than just being another genre piece, Velocity : Design : Comfort should be considered a classic of the experimental phase of shoegaze music. The electronic noises and synthetic textures of Sweet Trip’s second full-length do what no other album in the twelve years between it and the release of Loveless were able to do: take shoegaze and make it more than simply noisy rock music. It’s futuristic, dreamy soundscapes are totally removed from the world of reality, taking rock music out of its foundation in physical space and placing it in a realm of total imagination. Gone are the concert halls and music venues of music’s past. This is rock music for a digital, virtual world where the stage is your monitor and the soundsystem is your headphones. It is a brand new form of escapism, one where we no longer long for the events of the past, but the sounds of our experiences as well.



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user ratings (267)
Chart.
4.3
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 2nd 2015


19985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9 | Sound Off

breaking a long bout of silence with something i havent done in a while: review an old album. but i figured it was time to finally give this the review it deserved.



since its not a new release i kind of went with a less traditional style, so comments and criticism are always welcome.



enjoy.

Ryus
May 2nd 2015


16623 Comments


fucking finally



thank you for this hype

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 2nd 2015


19985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9 | Sound Off

no probs. i finished my finals yesterday so i could finally write again. felt good tbh.

Kman418
May 2nd 2015


13271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

cool review cool album

adr
May 2nd 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i fucking hate 4.9 ratings



just saying

chinesewhispers
May 2nd 2015


4763 Comments


How in the fuck did this not have a review already?

Thanks, Hyp

Valkyrion
May 2nd 2015


1161 Comments


I definitely should jam this (and all the recommended albums as well) soon

Ryus
May 2nd 2015


16623 Comments


all of those those recommended albums are also amazing

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2015


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

: ]

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

OMFG

Digging: Svitlana Nianio - Kytytsi

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

BEST ALBUM IN THE UNIVERSE !!

deathschool
May 2nd 2015


23030 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First page, hi mom, will read. Etc.

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

so like i was gonna jam new music

but nah fuck that. jammin' this instead.

chinesewhispers
May 2nd 2015


4763 Comments


Souvlaki > Nowhere imo. Love me some muthafuckin Slowdive

Only nitpick of the review is how the term "shoegaze" was used four times in quick succession in the first paragraph, a teensy bit distracting. Maybe write something like this to break up the repetition:

It’s not simply that Loveless is the quintessential example of all the elements that define shoegaze, but its massive popularity means that it is also the most visible and recognizable album of the entire genre. But what is perhaps most interesting about Loveless isn’t that it‘s the quintessential shoegaze classic, but that...

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

along with loveless and nowhere, this should be considered the third classic in the

pantheon of shoegaze.
gay

Ryus
May 2nd 2015


16623 Comments


souvlaki is much better than nowhere yea

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

alison >

Ryus
May 2nd 2015


16623 Comments


[2]

DrMaximus
May 2nd 2015


12453 Comments


Album is so sweet, but not too sweet

Cygnatti
May 2nd 2015


32647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this some straight up saccharine sunshine blues, man



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