Effortlessly Transparent is Thomas Loupe a.k.a. First Sun’s third album. Thomas is from Orlando, Florida and his work includes soundscapes created for the video gaming and film industries. His influences are Squarepusher, and The Flashbulb (who was actually consulted in the making of this album). I, also, found elements resembling those of Scottish duo, Boards of Canada, one of my personal favourites in the genre. The album predominantly composed in minor keys, making for a dark, melancholic mood. It flows very well, with many peaks and valleys, and features a lot of melodic elements. It is built to be a journey as opposed to an assortment of unrelated tracks, so I highly recommend listening to the bridged version so you can appreciate how it gels together. Available on Bandcamp is a continuous mix, as well as the individual tracks that can be used by someone who wishes to add individual songs to his or her DJ library, for example.
The release kicks off with “A Totaled Car,” a relatively energetic IDM intro featuring a pretty cool keyboard solo reminiscent of classic jazz funk. Next is “Lost Causes,” a sleepy, grave piano tune featuring a lot of dubstep and glitch elements. Number 3 and 4, “My Decisions” and “On The Sun,” are two short one-minute tracks that are mostly ambient piano, and serve the purpose of bonding “Lost Causes” with “Tegan.” “Tegan,” a smoother dubstep track, has some atmospheric components and some interesting Spanish guitars. “Before The Sun Sets” drops further in energy; it is an ambient track with a quiet snare adding a rhythmic component. “From Death With Love” keeps with that mellow, melancholic tone. The piano is featured again on this track, and it is accompanied by some interesting electro and glitch elements as well as a twitchy drum line. “L2Stereo” marks a transition to the more energetic part of the record. It’s predominantly a glitch track, but you will notice some drum & bass passages. “Traumatic” then starts off with a bells intro and evolves into a bassy progressive break track that brings back that interesting jazzy bit of keyboard. This was my personal favourite on the record, although I’d hate to point out a single track as a higher worth in listening quality. The album in its entirety, the sum all its songs, is greater than the added value of each individual track. Next, “October” is a dark, melancholic piano transition track, which segues into the very atmospheric ambient “Suspended In Air, Motionless,” (perhaps about out-of-body experiences). The penultimate track, “Sag A,” brings the energy back up a notch with elements of glitch and dubstep. These are the two most dominant elements in this album. The outro, “Remember The Day,” mixes glitch with electro and it is perfectly in place as the last track to this LP.
All-in-all, it’s a very creative album. I’d be interested in checking out one of First Sun’s live gigs to hear what his music sounds like on a big power amped system. As far as I can tell, his three albums are self-releases, so he’d make a good catch for an indie IDM label. One thing missing from this album, however, is a collaboration. I usually enjoy the contrast that another creative brain’s input bring to the table and being part of a label can help facilitate this type of thing.
Written by Norm Boivin
*edited by Danielle Kenedy