Soda Gong / US / 2022
Australia-based musician Mark Gomes presents the debut full length under his own name for Soda Gong. “Alphane Moods” finds Gomes employing strategies that will be familiar to listeners of his work as Blue Chemise– elegiac, loop-based modes of composition and a predilection for concise etude forms– that manifest here with a strikingly different scope and intent, shifting from expressive abstraction into more conceptual terrain. Over the course of fourteen widescreen tracks, he navigates the gap between nostalgic and futurist sensibilities, concocting elusive, romantic, and sanguine settings that feel both plucked from the past and beamed in from a time still to come. Gomes describes his approach on the record as a “practice of ‘constructed ambience’, deploying sounds and track titles with pop-psychological associations of escape.” The result is a vivid, cinematic album that splits the difference between the worldbuilding retrofuturism of the best vaporwave music and the shadowy, homespun tape vignettes for which Gomes has become well known.