(New Album Review) Wave Collector- Catalog of Stolen Worlds

Wave Collector is a Portland-dwelling guy by the name of Neal Wright and his self-released LP Catalog of Stolen Worlds is a fine debut. The delicious aural pranks and everyday vagaries that weave their way through the Wave guy’s sensuous downtempo electronica give off a little bit of shibuya-kei kitsch, a bit more of the cosmic. The way Wright marries poppy melodies to simultaneously goofy and meditative sound collage takes me back to that open-ended and airy spirit of the electronic sounds of the late 90s and early 2000s. Though he does bust out some pop vocals of his own for “Teach a Man to Long for the Sea New” and “Ice Enchantment”, it is sound design where he excels and he knows it. You can be certain an artist is on an interesting trip when he describes himself as a sonic collector/traveler, yet isn’t afraid to throw an exchange with a curious bystander to a field recording into the mix (see: the opening moments of “Crow Flies”). It’s smart stuff, it’s pretty stuff, and it’s a journey you’ll want to take with someone who’s definitely pushing himself places as a sound chemist. Favorite moment: the bittersweet farewell of “Temps Perdu”, propelled by dubby stabs and the faraway trails of bells and lapping water.

For my Portland readers: you will not want to miss the release party for Catalog of Stolen Worlds tonight at Holocene at 8:30. Wave Collector will be joined by Dylan Stark and Copy. Be there!

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