LUXEMBOURG: SSofftt TToouucchh- Sun Glitters
Lo-fi beats and ambient interludes make for a unique listening experience that aim to relax as well as engage
Luxembourgish lo-fi electronica musician Sun Glitters’ album, from its very name, gives you a hint as to what the style of music will be. The rather cumbersome title SSoofftt TToouuchh does, in fact have a purpose, as it invites you to read it as if you were a character in a film and the director had applied slow motion to the visuals and sound. The ensuing album is slow, relaxed, chill out music that one can enjoy passively, with plenty of retro touches in there as well. Sun Glitters, real name Victor Ferreira, has been a staple of the European electronica scene since his first album was released in 2011, and before that he made his name as an indie rock musician in the late 90s and early 2000s, as well as forming the electronica project Sug(r)cane, that mixed indie rock, dream pop and shoegaze music into a techno style. This, however, is a rather different project. Now using the name Sun Glitters, the music he makes is far softer and more ambient, and it appears to take its cues from influences such as Brian Eno or even Tangerine Dream. Sun Glitters is more interested in musical textures and sounds as opposed to making danceable tunes, and that’s fine. What’s important is that it works as a piece, and this most certainly does, with many of the songs building up in terms of musical intensity, yet always retaining the relaxing, low tempo nature of lo-fi music.
“Electronica music is usually good at suggesting imagery, and this is no exception. It is reminiscent of its own album artwork, artfully evoking shimmering summer’s days, while at the same time, the electronic nature of the music conjures up cityscapes and urban panoramas.”
The album itself is constructed in a very unusual way. At 27 songs and one hour four minutes long, it is a hefty album, and the way he has broken it down is by interspersing in between every full-length track, a shorter track, usually only one minute or less, that is mostly sound collages of what sound like field recordings, and are identifiable on the album by the fact they are titled with symbols and not the double letter titles of the rest of the album. This has an interesting effect on the listener, in my view, as it allows for regular breaks from the low-key intensity of the rest of the album. It also helps to create a soundscape. Electronica music is usually good at suggesting imagery, and this is no exception. It is reminiscent of its own album artwork, artfully evoking shimmering summer’s days, while at the same time, the electronic nature of the music conjures up cityscapes and urban panoramas. What the interludes help with here is to situate you. For example, the track immediately preceding BBaacckk AAwwaayy has a recording of an old man muttering about batteries to someone, and while it is a seemingly random addition, when taken in the context of the album, you are placed in a city, perhaps a market, and you’re picking up bits of sound and conversation as you walk past the hustle and bustle of city life. The same goes for the track immediately after BBaacckk AAwwaayy, which appears to use turnstile noises, and snippets of muffled conversation as its collage. While the novelty does wear off towards the end of the album, it is overall successful in bookending these lo-fi electronic tracks by locating them in a sense of place.
Perhaps the best song is IItt’’ss AAllrriigghhtt, which is an enjoyably retro track that is a collaboration with Brooklyn-based music producer and singer Drop The Gun. Her vocals help uplift the track into the most memorable piece on there. That said, an ambient album doesn’t necessarily need memorable tracks as its goal is to create an overall impression on the listener, and it succeeds in doing so. I do think that the album is a bit longer than it needs to be, and when I listen to it actively, it can get a bit trying, but if you were to stick it on in the background, or listen to it in parts, it works very nicely, and the overall concept of the album, including the ambient cityscape interludes does add an overall pleasant texture to the musical quality. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen done to this extent before. Overall, as lo-fi beats, it’s of a very high quality throughout, and if you’re looking for something to pop on while doing some studying or work, or simply to relax, this is great accompaniment.