The third LP from Anthony Naples over the last four years, Fog FM, released on June 14, comes out on ANS (note the initials) — his own sub-label of Incienso, which Naples co-founded with Jenny Slattery. Judging by the releases on the Incienso catalogue, as well his own personal ANS sub-label, this latest offering fits snuggly into Naples’ niche, dancing on the margins of tape-hissed techno and house.
Six months after Take Me With You, a 12-track cassette of spaced-out sketches — a plea for alien abduction — Fog FM, a 10-track double LP, follows up Naples’ flurry of extra-terrestrial activity over the past year. Over the course of the two discs, the (where is he from) artist continues in this vein, making use of alien, arpeggiating synths and moody textures that ebb and flow between the deep grooves cut onto sides A, B, C, and D.
‘Air’ opens up deep. Through some nicely filtered chords, Naples sets up an airy space for the thumping kick to spread out, creating a nicely compressed vacuum to kick things off. As with much of the music on here, Fog FM positions itself just off-centre from the house/techno crossroads, and well away from the middle-of-the-road. Elements seem to pop up in unexpected places: snare hits switch up, shifting the beat and genre, if only for a moment. What defines each track is the overall groove; the sub-frequencies in the kicks, a break here and there, and the fluctuating layers of synths, pads, arps and delays.
Closing up the A-side, the title track, ‘Fog FM’, feels perfect for a night drive, if you’ve got the system for it. There’s something classically dubby about this minimal house tune; modulating synth layers and stabs shrouded in lengthy delays — similar to that skimming effect when you listen to the train tracks a few moments before the carriage approaches. When the first side of this 5-track EP finished, I barely noticed that I’d listened to two individual tracks as the grooves carry away the listener, like a good beat should.
As we flip the disc onto Side B, the fog grows thicker still. 'Purple Iris' — a dystopian, dissonant, slow-paced techno track; 'Benefit' — pumping and cosmic with its fluttering alien voices stuck in another delayed dimension. Very danceable stuff; I foresee lots of limbs moving freely to this over the coming seasons.
Personally, this adds to the versatility of each composition, which is what keeps the release on its toes, its colours changing. When scanning through the steady stream of recent releases of whatever style, it’s often surprising how monotonous a release can sound — the same BPMs, the same tone, dynamics, and even structure. On Fog FM — arguably one of Naples most danceable releases as of late — every track is playable on its own, and each has its own set of ingredients. There’s nothing overly complex or show-off about this LP either; the grooves flow, and, as is usually the case with Naples’ oeuvre, the artist’s personal touch is right there at the surface, beckoning the listener to peer in a little further.
Fog FM was released on June 14 on ANS. It is available as a 2xLP and as a digital release from the artist’s own Bandcamp page.
A2: Fog FM
B1: Purple Iris
B3: Channel 2
C3: Channel 3
D1: I’ll Follow You
D2: Aftermath AM