Boomkat Product Review:
Liberation is the latest evolution by David West, a dedicated underground dweller and traveler with his groups Rat Columns and Rank/Xerox and previously spotted in Lace Curtain and Total Control.
"Many familiar elements of West's songwriting creep out from the speakers this time around, albeit in a sonically more adventurous and personal manner. Swathed in analogue and FM synths, pinned down by near-funk drum machines, and with a vision expanded into the past and future. While in previous incarnations, West's alienated and fragile vocal has battled with jangling guitars and distortion, Liberation sets free his woes and ruminations into space.
Taking inspiration from the heyday of Mute Records, the beginnings of electronic dance music's rudimentary sampling, broken and sound art, Liberation's debut LP is 10 songs of the road, about the nameless ghosts on the highway, accidental lovers, the alienation of the stranger in a strange land, the unbearable weight of freedom.
Beginning with a curveball, Liberation's first vocal sets out the position of the forever-cuckold, the sad lover hanging on: Looking For A Lover combines a Roland 707's loping mid-tempo with creeped-out synth lines as West intones his intentions close to the ear. Continuing in a more baroque manner, Move Me makes astounding use of string samples and space, with esteemed engineer Mikey Young's (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring) production prowess making for a distilled yet inviting loneliness. Forget is the night-drive centerpiece of the album, a 7 minute that erupts into a nihilistic sub-disco darkness. A constant theme of Liberation is the friction between West's characters: a frustrated love in victim-status paired with a menacing intent. The adorable, fragile stalker in the moonlight, illuminated by Whatever You Want, a subjugated protagonist offering they have while the city burns.
The brightest pop moment of the album has this in abundance: Cold And Blue, a classic synth pop jam to be played on repeat til the end of time, like New Order played by one man in his bedroom, with no drugs for a cushion, coming down the stairs, she looks like a perfect fear and Im a monument to your existence.? But West has moments of touching sincerity that speak direct to the listener, as in album highlight Leaves Falling; a sparse string arrangement frames his vocal, "why do I keep falling for you? I must just really like to be alone."
Liberation is the freedom from attachments, about how sometimes they're what you want most."