Streetwalker: Future Fusion Review
Electronic music can already be a bit convoluted for many listeners, and when one member of your band is a molecular biologist by trade, the risk increases exponentially. Streetwalker is a duo from Chicago made up of Beau Wanzer (the molecular biologist) and Elon Katz, and their debut LP Future Fusion was released earlier this year on the Minimal Waves imprint Cititrax Records. It is a well thought out and finely crafted LP, but don’t let that convince you it isn’t an incredibly enjoyable record. It is six songs of dense but dance-able synth scorchers that took the group two years to create, and the final product is one of the most engrossing records–electronic or not–released this year.
From the wobbly descending synth lines of “Untitled” to the jittery, echo-laden closer “Straight Face,” Future Fusion is a record packed with tracks primed for both the dance floor and your headphones. The songs are tense and full of push and pull, compositions crafted to build on the groups well calculated restraint. There is a Knife-esqe flavor to many of the tracks, if the Knife were more interested in making a krautrock tinged dance record. The songs are thick and layered, but don’t overpower the slithery beats that are the backbone throughout the LP. As one would expect from an album like this that took two years to create, Future Fusion is a Matryoshka doll of sounds that unveil themselves on each subsequent listen.
The joy of Future Fusion is that it packs a wallop on your first spin, yet carries an incredibly long shelf life. The songs pulse to life each listen, and the record is subtle and hypnotic enough to be used as a zone-out soundtrack. It is a diverse record that is precisely calculated yet brimming full of emotion. The fear of sounding distant and cold, a record of 1’s and 0’s created by some emotionless scientist, is quickly vanquished upon first listen. The time and expertise put into making this record didn’t make it more stoic, but it did make the emotion cool, calculated, and all that more powerful. It took two years to make, but Future Fusion is worth it.