‘Profligate’ lives up to the hype with ‘Somewhere Else’

Mike Alber
Staff Writer


Profligate released their new album “Somewhere Else” on Jan. 5, 2018.

Philadelphia is home to an ever growing noise music scene. “Profligate” (Noah Anthony) is one such Philadelphia based musical act who has recently caught a lot of attention on the internet.

Typically, this kind of music is inaccessible to a majority of listeners, so one can imagine how tough it would be to catch any wind of notoriety outside of this niche.

Unlike many internet popular music artists over the last year or so, Profligate’s most recent, “Somewhere Else,” is able to live up to the hype that followed its release.

However, this album may not be for everyone. This isn’t in the same as other electronically driven acts like LCD Soundsystem or The Chainsmokers. Throughout the seven tracks on this album there is a lot of minimalistic rhythms, soft vocals, and resonantly harsh synthesizers.

The sound on this album pulls from a typical dark and moody atmosphere that can be found with most of Noah’s contemporaries and predecessors in the darkwave scene. What makes him stand out however is the combination of noise music that is spliced within his percussion and melodies.

For example, on the track “A Circle Of,” a constant rhythm of white noise serves as a pacemaker, cutting through the vocal performance of both Noah and contributor Elaine Kahn.

If there was an easy comparison to the novice listener that could explain the direction of the album without having them listen to it themselves, Somewhere Else is a well crafted blend of the inaccessible with the accessable.

Noise integrated into the compositional approach of Depeche Mode’s mid eighties output (Think “Black Celeration”) and Radiohead’s “Kid A.” Most of these tracks are structured out in an abstract yet straightforward manner.

At around 38 minutes as a whole, it isn’t necessarily an album where you have to take the time out of your day to listen to. Finishing some of these tracks at times can be a chore.

Take for instance ‘Black Plate’ comes on the second half of the record and gives nothing that is as interesting as the previous three tracks. It pales in comparison to a song like ‘Enlist’, a chaotic yet compositionally beautiful song that commands your attention in the beginning with the overwhelming squelch of power electronics and arpeggiation.

One track that’s unconventional is ‘Jet Black (King of The World)’. It is a straightforward beat that also sports a very unique time signature of 17/16, having these two different kinds of musical structure ideas mesh together seamlessly.

Overall, if you are looking for something that is cold, dark and sounds like an electric blanket shorting out while left under the northern lights, you can go onto Wharf Cat Records Bandcamp, and download it digitally, or buy it on CD or Vinyl.

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