George Fitzgerald’s newest album All That Must Be expertly combines atmospheric techno with much more euphoric moments. There’s a liminal quality to the opener, ‘Two Moons Under’, where Fitzgerald begins sampling the background noise of people’s chatter to replicate the noises of everyday places and moments operating as the backdrop to the music. This captures both the sound of being overwhelmed in the world, and finding a quiet retrospective, calming place, all in the one song.
‘Burns’ is the song everyone will recognise from the radio in recent months. In isolation, it seemed like Fitzgerald was stepping away from ambient dance music, but in the context of the album its euphoria builds quietly. It gravitates slowly towards its momentum, and simmers down in similar way to that of a classical canonical composition. This track, as with the rest on the album, is a sophisticated piece; the vocal samples work to create the effect of being lost and overcome. ‘Freida’ is the perfect way to lead into this; it’s bouncy but filled often understated echoes. However, there’s a complexity in the sampling – the vocal loops and distortions build on top of each other like layers creating a rich, textured beat to get absorbed in.
‘Roll Back’ has a deliberately dreamy sound – it’s a minimalist heartbreak song without a major focus on the lyrics, and the vocal samples are allowed to be repetitive and intertwined, without seeming annoying or overdone. Later moments on the album further epitomise on the dark side of the dance floor, the combination of the more moody and minimalist elements in conjunction with the samples work for a result which at a glance seems effortlessly cool but reveals itself to be intently complex in its technical composition.
In its penultimate moments with ‘The Echo Forgets’, the sound is heavily influenced by 90s trance, but with a refreshing update. It’s not a throwback song that imitates its influences, instead it’s renewed, given a new lease of life with a modern twist in its darker edges. Finally, ‘Passing Trains’ mirrors the opening track with the real-life background noise, finishing off this consistently engaging and multi-faceted opus.
[Stacey Anderson – @staceyanders0n]