‘Then and Now and Now Is Then’ is the latest release and debut album from Steve Sperry; an eclectic look into the modern world of electronica. The fire of the album blazes from the onset and the heat is blinding. Risks push the album higher, simplicity brings it back down to the realm of today. The clouds part and you realise that is not your sky, those are not your mountains, this is not your Earth. Steve Sperry creates a world of synthetic glee based on the one we already know and love. This approach makes for a fascinating listen and an extremely colourful display of music.
The album kicks off with, ‘Flying Under the Ben Franklin.’ The song is endlessly joyous and pushes its pulsing beat from the very second you press play. With no need for introductions, the track shakes your hand fervently and prances off onto the dance floor. The melody is intoxicating and the beat even more so. You find the groove, set your heart to it, and then the next song sweeps you away. ‘The Moon Room’ takes the bright colours created in the previous track and makes a mural of them. The sweeping shapes and far-out symbols hypnotise you as you move. The feel of the track has left our atmosphere — the journey to the new world begins. You go along happily, the scenery is wonderful. A brilliant follow-up, slower, smoother, a much-needed next step which builds into ‘Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia’ with purpose and poise.
‘Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia’ is darker, sinister in its open. It breaks the happy chain, here is the challenge in the journey. The melody takes sharp turns, keeping you on your toes, the bass is hungry, it is never satisfied. The track demands a lot of you, but if you happen to be a worthy foe it gives a lot back in return. Its vistas are wondrous and more importantly, its beat is like nothing I have heard before. Just as you are getting used to your time in spaceflight, we begin our descent into the new world. ‘X Marks the Spot’ brings us back to the norm, amping our spirits with 4/4 bass drums and high hat shimmers. The melody whines like machines under load and you can feel their strain. The instrumental chants and spurs them on, a great toil, an even better sound. ‘Needs and Wants’ is a celebration of the new, merging psychedelia with classic house tones. Murmurs of vocals pierce the coloured veil and send you off into a trance as the beat ebbs and flows in the night.
Morning arrives with ‘I’m Curious If You Can Tell Me What It Looks Like I’m Doing If You Have a Second.’ This song reinvents classic EDM for a new age. Loops and trickles of old poke through but are outweighed by the melody of tomorrow. The beat is pulsing, the light is golden and the feeling — immense. Once the blue moon of New Earth sets, the beat goes on. This track is a contemporary classic. It punches, sways, keeps on like a hunting dog and fills every gap with the perfect tone. But Steve Sperry is not done, ‘Million Dollar Scratchie’ has been up his sleeve this whole time. The song feels unlike anything else on the album. In fact, it feels like a sum of it all. The journey, the past, the landing, the future, all clashing, all fighting. What results is a perfect amalgam of sonic wonder. Fruity, full, dark and open, ‘Million Dollar Scratchie’ is the perfect end to this all-encompassing album.
A brilliant introduction for Steve Sperry with help from vidpoet. Here’s hoping this marks the start of something massive. With ideas like these and the ability to pull them off, there is no stopping this musical powerhouse. ‘Then and Now and Now Is Then’ is an electric album in both genre and feeling. Energising.