Turns out life didn’t work out quite how James Holden expected. In the press release that accompanies Imagine This Is A High Dimensional Space Of All Possibilities the Leicestershire-based producer recalls how he used to balance a clock radio on a wardrobe to “catch the faint pirate FM signals from the nearest city, dreaming of what raves would be like when I could finally escape and become a new age traveller.”
It makes sense that an atmosphere of hauntology looms over Imagine This. His first solo outing since 2013’s The Inheritors, this is an album that’s half a conversation with his teenage imagination and half a musical ode to parties of yore; a beguiling mix of the fantastic and the familiar. Setting the scene with the cosmic pulse and euphoric birdsong of the opener, this record feels more like a mixtape than a musical album, sucking you ever deeper into a hypnotic world of pulsing bass and blissful noise.
At most raves, once you’ve gotten over the initial high, most people will struggle to hold on to the buzz for the full duration; luckily Holden, always a party guy at heart, throws in the odd pop hook or easy-going banger to keep things moving. It’s in these moments where Imagine This… really shines, with eerily sexy saxophone and slapped basslines dropping through the glare like a Roxy Music sample.
If this is truly the sound of all tomorrow’s parties, then you can count me in.
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