Review Summary: PIVOT into this groove.
After making a couple breakthrough house-inspired tracks like "Talk to me You'll Understand" that got exposure thanks to Youtube and a couple great EPs released on Brainfeeder. British producer Felix Clary Weatherall finally releases his anticipated debut on Flying Lotus's label. If you aren't familiar who Flying Lotus is, there is no doubt you have listened to something he produced across multiple rappers he has worked with over the years, as well as dropping excellent work of his own right with classic albums like 'Los Angeles', 'Cosmogramma' and the frequently praised album 'You're Dead!' which released in 2014. In My opinion, he saw potential in Felix's work, which landed this debut album on his label. With all the support and backing Ross has, does he live up to his potential on Family Portrait?
Lo-fi house. A rising scene in mostly the UK, has also sparked loads of Internet attention over the years, thanks to a handful of producers Like Mall Grab, DJ Seinfeld, & DJ Boring that released tracks that are catchy, atmospheric, and experimental with tints of analog distortion that makes you feel like you are sitting alone on a subway looking into a empty city at your window filled with neon lights that fill your mind and body and you listen along to the distorted music of a future that was once was. This is exactly the kind of vibe you will get once you listen to Family Portrait.
The Opener 'Happy birthday Nick', is a short intro track that is both eerie and dissonant; almost as it's teasing you of what's to come in the album. When it finally does start off, 'Thank God I'm A Lizard' is a track full of atmospheric ambient noise combined with upbeat house music, slowly flowing into the track as a voice in the background mumbles the title track leaving a sound that is both supernatural and strangely inspiring. As it moves along into the next tracks like 'Wear Me Down' & 'The Knife'. you immediately begin to realize just how many subtle background noises and tints that are devilishly put together together the production of this album, which definitely separates it from his older work. You can tell that the production is a key factor into making Family Portrait sounding as strangely beautiful as it does; which in part is thanks to Flying Lotus looking over the creation of this album.
The harmonious sounds don't just stop there As the second half of the album begins to create even more abstract and experimental sounds layered with chopped vocals on tracks like 'Back Into Space' and 'Parallel Sequence'. The main difference with this album compared to other Lo-fi- house artists in the scene is that there is almost no repetition with any of these tracks, which was my main criticism of the genre when I first heard it. All of the tracks on this album flow together perfectly, making the album almost feel like one whole track of it's own. If anything you should take from listening to the album, Ross From Friends has not only solidified Lo-fi House into sounding completely unique to this genre, as he is almost carrying it on his back, with the potential here being unmatched so far compared to other producers in the scene. Not only is this the best Lo-fi house Record I've heard, but probably one of the best electronic albums of this year. It's catchy yet almost unnerving atmosphere is something that is attention grabbing, making this essential for sweet night time listening. I can't wait to see what Felix has even more to bring to the table, but for now though Family Portrait is an excellent addition to the world of electronic in 2018.