Album Name: Like Reality
Artist: Stephano Gavilanes
Label: Fashion Music Entertainment, LLC
Genre: Electronic, Dance, Ambient, Soundtrack
Like Reality is the debut effort of Stephano Gavilanes, an Ecuador-born electro/dance/ambient music artist/producer based in New York City. The synthesizer, he says, is his instrument of choice which is clearly reflected in this fully-synthesized album. The opening track, Geo, is already under a publishing contract for TV/film sync catalogs while the digital comic released with the album is an added bonus,capturing the vibe of the song Goodbye Megabyte!
Released on the 2nd of August, 2013 by Fashion Music Entertainment, LLC, Like Reality is part-electro, part-ambient and wholly otherworldly and hypnotic in sound!
|Factory (App App Mix)|
|24Kt (Red Carpet Mix)|
|Ultra Ride (Midnight Mix)|
Geo starts out with subtle electronic beats that build in complexity as the track progresses before fading out just as it had faded in- into a sense of plinky unreality. For an opening track, it is soothing and entrancing, to say the least.
2. Disco Paris
Boppy beats, an electro undercurrent, predictable chants of “une,deux,trois,quatre”and shout outs to “Disco Paris” make this track what it is quite the standard and clichéd affair. Overall, it didn’t do much for me – the beats in particular got a little too bland and repetitive. I can however see it work on the dance floor!
This track goes all out in terms of the overall atmosphere it creates – weavinga divine melody out of high energy techno beats that form the brick and mortar of this song. Definitely a dance floor-friendly stand out, this one!
The opening pulls you in with its melodramatic intensity, the utterance of “twenty four” setting the clock ticking before the classic beats take over. A detached underwater feel fuses with the mishmash of eerie-sounding rhythms; these beats start out earthier, somehow, before they reintegrate into a sound similar to the opening pulse. The transition is smooth and the plinkiness that accompanies the opening tempo is distinctive and appealing in its own way!
5. Ultra Ride
The opening beats are tinny, before they get messier and edgier. As the track picks up pace, the beats get more experimental in sound before fading out mid-track in a way that sets your heart pumping. You can almost hear the vroooms and what feels like repeated clangs as the speed increases and the effect is exhilarating. An ultra-creative and heart stopping track!
6. Normal Bias
I love how the track starts out glitchy, with a deliberate delay and nervousness in momentum. It then reaches a point of almost-poignancy by hitting slow but beautiful notes. While not all of it resonated with me, it was definitely an interesting listen!
Faster, less ambiguous and more playful than Normal Bias– this track sat well with me! The beat is toe-tappingly catchy – the melody addictive and easy on the ears.
Well-paced electro beats dominate the beginning of this track, taking you to an unearthly but still accessible place. It fuses with mesmerizing instrumentals and blaring sounds before steady beats take over. The way it all links together is fascinating!
9. Goodbye Megabyte
“Memory exceeded” “No more megabytes” as the sound clips say provide cues to this happy-go-lucky whimsical-sounding number. With fast beats, a pretty varied range of instrumentals and a great hook, Goodbye Megabyte will be a fun addition to your playlist.
10. January 18th
Bordering on anthemic and very surreal, it seizes you when you least expect it and transports you to another day and another world.
Hashtag went right over my head, despite the fresh implications of the title. Slick as it was, with its futuristic sound, it did not stand out from the other numbers in this album. I was tempted to skip the track.
12. Factory (AppAppMix)
This mix is definitely heavier and punchier than the original. It makes it
even more toe tappingly infectious with the ingredients of the original amped to the max!
13. 24Kt (Red Carpet Mix)
I’m not sure what this mix does for the original track… it is definitely more club-friendly but I feel it robs the original of its core elements. There’s less of the eeriness that made the original work for me.
14. Ultra Ride (Midnight Mix)
The Midnight Mix was as much of an adrenaline rush as the original version of the track! While I couldn’t find much that was substantially different from the original, it was great to listen to another version. It is definitely one of the stand-out tracks of the album and hence a great note to end on!
Final Thoughts: Stephano Gavilanes, through his debut album, takes us to an amped up pseudo reality that could double as a sci fi movie or space game soundtrack. It would even make a pretty rad playlist for a Doomsday themed party, if they do those anymore. But forthe average listener, some of it works and some of it doesn’t. Fortunately, it is worth sticking around for the ones that do. Tracks like Ultra Ride, Geo, Factory, Playground and Goodbye Megabyte are electro/ambient brilliance; spacey yet breathtaking, giving you the feel of being taken on a tour to places you’ve already been to… with a perspective that’s out of ordinary!
Verdict: An electro/dance/ambient album that gives you pseudo reality with a twist. Some hits, some misses but mostly worth the ride!
Picks of the album: Goodbye Megabyte, Geo, Playgrounds, Ultra Ride, Factory, Factory (App App Mix)