It's not like James Ferraro doesn't have his detractors, but part of the deal with him is that he's got a definitive goal in mind, and he's attempting to reach it in a very public way. That means there are gonna be some misses, some hits, and some genuinely bizarre shit that no one can explain. When he released his Bebetunes project, it mostly felt like a semi-interesting experiment by a super-smart dude trying to grapple with synthesizing everything he hears on the radio into his own distinct style. His newest project, Bodyguard, takes that idea one step further. Fleshing out his interpretations of radio tropes (autotune! Balloon noises! Bass so deep that it quakes!) with the help of a band. Predictably, there are a couple moments that fall flat, but that's alright. It's not like you're paying for this. There are highlights too. On "Raiden - Blue Lights #NZT - 48," Ferraro reaches dizzying late-evening-in-LA excess: repeating crystaline synths and the aforementioned overwhelmingly heavy bass with detached vocals for seven-and-a-half minutes. It's dark and sleazy and borders on excessive, but it also seems like the pinnacle of the ideas he's been exploring lately.
Stream: James Ferraro, Silica Gel