The Croatian keyboard maestro returns to Bear Funk for long player #4
For his fouth studio album, Croatian synth wizard Ilija Rudman returns to Bear Funk, who released his debut offering The Reveal back in 2011, and neither fans of the label nor fans of Rudman himself are likely to be disappointed.
The album opens with the sprightly Dreamscape Planet, which introduces itself with shimmering 80s synth chords and drum machine claps, then takes a housier turn with some fine disco-via-Detroit strings work. It's a track that's hard to pin down in terms of genre – is it house? is it disco? – and that's something that can be said of most of the rest of the album too. "Synth-disco" works as a catch-all but house, disco, electro, tropical and downtempo/Balearic influences all make themselves felt at different times, often in the same track – see, for instance, SOS Flight Theme, which marries lounge-y chimes/vibes to high-octane electro beats.
There are no great surprises in store, admittedly – four albums in, Rudman's sound is well-establshed and he's sticking to it – and even just a hint of vocal here or there wouldn't have gone amiss, because as with a lot of all-instrumental albums the tracks do have a tendencey to all merge into one. But at old-fashioned 'fit two on a C90' album length Sagitarii doesn't outstay its welcome (unlike some of today's sprawling 80-minute opuses) and if shiny, synth-tastic nu disco vibes are what you're counting on to see you through the summer, you'll find 'em in abundance here.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: Out now
Review Score: 8