Canadian electronic musician and producer Robert Alfons’s multifaceted project TR/ST is a constantly evolving and stimulating force. Starting out as a duo with Maya Postepski in Toronto, the first release ‘TRST’ came out in 2012. After her departure from the group Alfons spent some time redefining the project before re-emerging as TR/ST. Having relocated to Los Angeles he went on to release ‘Joyland’ in 2014.
However, Postepski decided resume the work with Alfons. ‘The Destroyer - 2’ represents a journey of continuous fascination. Already known for the darkwave synth sonics that conjure up visuals of landscapes in an unknown country, it is the versatility and emotive nuances that fans and listeners connect with.
There is the sense of immersion and what seems like an invitation to a private party – a train of thought and a playful, vivid imagination. Speaking about his choice of sound for this album, Alfons explained that he spent the last five years transforming it to make sure it depicted what he wanted. While sound influences reach, this LP focuses on industrial sonics as much as the use of ambient layers of contemporary electronic sounds.
There is fluidity throughout the eight album tracks. A song such as ‘Iris’ tackles the idea that the best and brightest moments in life, more often than not, are associated with some degree of gravitas. It is a track where majestic synth sounds meld with Alfons’ soft vocal harmonies.
To confront complex feelings may take some courage, but the song ‘Shame’ suggests that it is possible to make such a transition in a natural way, and feelings of shame are equal to other feelings, thoughts or sensations. A quiet and introspective track, but it is organic and positive in vibe. ‘Darling’ is a short, laidback moment whilst ‘Cor’ commences with soothing organ sounds. The album’s title track ‘Destroyer’ is moment of synth pop exhilaration.
This record represents a meeting between bliss and darkness. It is a space where elements of eighties music culture and electronic sounds of the same era forge a unique bond of immersion and depth.
Words: Susan Hansen
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