Zavala
Fantasmas


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (75 Reviews)
January 19th, 2017 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beats echoed through a fog...

Anthony Zavala, best known as the brains behind Dark Time Sunshine’s progressive psych influenced hip-hop beats, channels the group’s latest album ,ANX, in his solo debut album Fantasmas. Coming as a possible surprise to fans of Dark Time Sunshine, Fantasmas is a house record at heart. Elements of techno, downtempo, and garage are the tools the Zavala utilizes to create a soundscape steeped in his signature style, complete with his intricately layered synths and darkly moody atmosphere. This atmosphere, ripped right from ANX’s theme of anxiety is prevalent throughout Fantasmas’ runtime and gives the album a unique flavor. That’s not to say Fantasmas is especially “dark”, but a tense spirit hides behind these groovy drums.

In a way, Fantasmas could be seen as cathartic for Zavala. Having done little work outside of Dark Time Sunshine since 2010, the man finally was able to explore and refine the influences of his hip-hop beats into full-fledged songs. The inspired opening to “Protection Cloak” is particularly strong with UKG and melts perfectly into the syncopated drums before the hazy, swirling electronics carry the song through its runtime. The inherently repetitive nature of the 4/4 beats serve as a powerful hypnotic catalyst for Zavala’s dense arrangements, and honestly in tandem they hold the listener’s attention in a way most producers could only hope for. Fortunately, Fantasmas isn’t completely devoid of DTS influence, as songs like “The IFS” and “The INS” have such a striking resemblance to the beats from ANX at points you could almost name the song it’s taken from (I couldn’t find them but I swear...).

After 15 years of cultivating his unique sound, Zavala has created an impressive debut in Fantasmas. While trite comparisons to Burial or even last year’s 99.9% by Kaytranada could probably be made, the mesmeric soundscapes on presentation here are refined enough and novel enough to stand on their own. Every experiment, including “Floats Like Empty” which boasts a sound so thick and dreamlike Ambien was probably involved, feels warmly familiar to old fans of the man’s work yet simultaneously so different. Clamors for a new DTS album by some in the hip-hop underground probably won’t be going away anytime soon, but let’s be honest, the beats carried that project. And with Fantasmas, Zavala’s decision on injecting house music into his productions has culminated into a fantastic electronic record and one that shouldn’t be missed.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sat on this review for a couple days because the album art is broked but I won't be here for a bit so mods please fix. ANYWAYS, I'm pretty far out of my element here but I thoroughly enjoy this tell me what you think.



https://fakefour.bandcamp.com/album/fantasmas

MarsKid
January 19th 2017


5604 Comments


Honestly feel like this might be a bit too brief of a review. Gets straight to the point, but I think I'd personally prefer a bit more development.

Not badly written tho, nice work overall.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

noted, and thank you

LordePots
January 27th 2017


38089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how does this even have a review on here

Digging: Alyss - Motherland

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

still haven't stopped listening to this, love it

TwigTW
February 1st 2017


2780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is making me very happy :-)

LordePots
February 1st 2017


38089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Roosevelt & Letting Go early contender for electronic SOTY

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thats top 3 for me

Dewinged
February 6th 2017


6353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Anthony Zavala, best known as the brains behind Dark Time Sunshine’s progressive psych influenced hip-hop beats, channels the group’s latest album, ANX, in his solo debut album Fantasmas."



Not to be a grammar bitch Calc, but I would add those commas after "beats", "album" and "ANX". Apart from that, good review man, have a pos.



I am also out of my element here, but really enjoyed the stuff in Chrysalis. The first 2 tracks were harder to digest for me. Still at half of this.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just noticed that if your review is a different score than what you select otherwise, this neat website automatically changes your score to the review one. how cool.

Evokaphile
March 13th 2017


5828 Comments


I like a lot of electronic styles. House is not one of them. Still i kinda wanna hear this cuz DTS exists.

Digging: Kelela - Take Me Apart

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

give it a shot man

TheWrenKing
May 10th 2017


1547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pretty good

jtswope
May 10th 2017


5650 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. This is really nice.



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