Published Jan 25, 2017Darius Giurar's Magnetic Syndromes, the beat-scene Californian's second album as Gypsy Mamba, is a bit of a mixed bag. While an unclassifiable nature can sometimes be the marker of great work, it can also denote a lack of focus, and while certainly not without merit, Magnetic Syndromes suffers slightly from this condition; half gangsta-lite hip-hop, half psychedelic electronica, it makes a confusing first impression.
The album starts off with a largely ambient approach, full of warm, organ-esque pads and organic-toned arpeggios, which is pleasant enough. The album's tone takes an unconvincing turn into faux-aggressive rap territory on third track "Choker," though. It feels like a flimsily grafted on stylistic addition, and although Giurar achieves a more authentic cohesion of these two impulses later on, it's not enough to make the listener forget this first impression.
When he nails it, however, he really nails it. Mid-album highlights "Nerds" and especially "Volcano Sunset" seem like the ideals to which Giurar aspires. The former flirts with the kind of hazy, tripped-out hip-hop vibe that fellow beat-scenester Devonwho mined on his recently released Luz, before a galloping beat arrives towards the end to stamp it as Giurar's own. The latter introduces its beat impeccably at the two-minute mark, validating the preceding melody with convincing authority.
Moments like these ultimately make Magnetic Syndromes worthwhile, and hopefully point towards a more fully realized offering in the future. (Alpha Pup)