Published Sep 09, 2016Toronto producer Harrison has come a long way since the early Soundcloud mixes that won the city's ear. His full-length debut, Checkpoint Titanium, is a testament to both the 21-year-old's growth and his evolving musicianship.
Harrison expertly blends old with new here, each track fusing juicy, bubbly synths with dusty bass and lush melodies that warm the spirit. Wise beyond his years, Harrison plays with genres and eras in a way that, despite travelling back to a sound before his time, feels authentic. "Right Hook" harnesses the '80s in all of its vivid splendour; "It's Okay, I Promise," featuring Toronto wunderkind Clairmont The Second, is Drake-like in its glossy angst; and "Vanilla," featuring Harrison's Last Gang labelmate Ryan Hemsworth, is futuristic with a touch of nostalgia. True to the music of today, "Vanilla" is deliberately unstructured, but its fuzzy sound effects will quickly transport you back to the days of blowing Nintendo cartridges.
In a wise move, Harrison paired up with close friends for Titanium's collaborations, and the stellar chemistry he has with each guest is evident. Together, Harrison and Toronto songstress a l l i e sparkle on "Vertigo," while Young Guv gives a charmingly quirky performance on "So Far From Home." "Social Stimulus," featuring Harrison's mentor and longtime collaborator Seamus Hamilton, is beautifully complex.
Engaging and cohesive, Checkpoint Titanium is an impressive debut. Harrison delivers a kaleidoscope of bright, exhilarating spectrum of colours for the ears. (Last Gang)