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Boomkat Product Review:
Previously known as Mark Barrage and Blue Chemise, Aussie producer Mark Gomes suggests early '00s RPG worlds with this cinematic full-length of vaporwave-inspired loops and soundscapes.
"Alphane Moods" is a first step in a new creative direction for Gomes, who follows haunted sample-based work for labels like Students of Decay and B.A.A.D.M. with an album of hyperreal blur and pixellated world-building. The starting point for Gomes' sounds here feels linked to vaporwave - the producer takes elusive but familiar loops of plasticky electronics and slow-motion pop, but reconstructs them into mournful ambient vignettes. The result is intriguing, a blend between Romance's slippery Valentine's day exoticism and the save state music from a PS1 or PS2-era video game.
Early tracks like 'Anti-Grave Suit' and 'Lunar Module' have their targets set on outer worlds, but sound grounded in the sonic palette of "Silent Hill" and "Resident Evil" games - which is no bad thing. Gomes' loops are undeniable affecting, tickling our nostalgia receptors but never completely beholden to the past. As the album sinks deeper into the abyss, Gomes allows himself to pull away from placid ambience, hinting at Medieval futures on the ace 'Dropshaft' and string-led 'Distant Star'. There's a soundtrack quality to "Alphane Moods" that's completely intentional, but doesn't feel beholden to the same set of rules you might think - Gomes has created a dynamic backdrop to a familiar digital reality that's slipping away day by day.