Anthony Naples – ‘Body Pill’ (Text Records)

Anthony Naples’ meteoric rise to success within the dance-music community as a both a DJ and producer in the past couple of years has certainly been fun to watch. Having seen him at the controls in London and Berlin on a few occasions in the past six months, its become apparent his panaché as a DJ doesn’t go without notice. In a drunken enthrall, he will send a room into overcharge, merging jagged Electro and jacking lo-fi sounds with I:Cube bangers until the cows come home.

For his debut full length, Naples has taken a step back from the booth and into the bedroom production community from which he emerged. ‘Body Pill’ is his most abstract body of work to date and reeling in at just over thirty minutes it’s blatantly short. Less in this case however, is certainly more – with Naples distilling an ocean of enthralling sound into eight shapely sketches.

Opener ‘Ris’ resonates with an industrial drone, a sketch on the ‘Power-Ambient” sound that prevailed heavily last year. Spectral textures ring a Tim Hecker bell – out of which a neon melody hatches. With the distinct feel of an entrance track, this is highly emotive. Picture yourself, sitting in the back of a yellow cab or some form of locomotive skyrocketing across the horizon and furling up into a blinding red sunrise.

Off-kilter drums and a swathe of strings form a distinctive Naples melody on ‘Abrazo’, while the percussive elements on ‘Changes’ draw to mind some of Dean Blunt’s triumphant drum machines experiments or one of many Actress sketches. ‘Way Stone’ is the shortest track on the record and it’s little more than a improvised jam, a pitter patter of keys and arpeggiated effects. What sets it out from a million discarded project files is that its got soul ticking inside.

One could easily make the argument that ‘Refugio’ – might be the track that appealed to Naples’ new label boss Kieran Hebden the most? It’s audibly the style of material that one might associate or even call synonymous with a Four Tet set, as ridiculous as that may sound.

Boards Of Canada-esque nostalgia sounds like a bleached out polaroid vision of Americana, the end of something or the start of a new beginning on ‘Pale’ before we approach the penultimate piece which is a designated slow jam. ‘Used To Be’ is a little chugger with a bassline formulated to bring a room full of body-rockers to a deadbeat standstill.

Clocking in around six and half minutes, the aptly titled ‘Miles’ is the longest track on this release by, well, a mile. Neither here nor there, what commences as a zonked-out drum rack jam takes a sudden left when a fork rises in the road, bringing us down a slowly undulating and ominous path that unwindd into a great abyss of white nothingness. Coming full circle, we’re right back where we started with ‘Ris’…

‘Body Pill’ is out now on Text. Buy it here.

Conor McTernan

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