The last time I encountered Daniel Angelus he was splicing dreamstate pop with hazy synthwave and understated dance grooves and lamenting the loss and longings of two far-flung lovers separated by the vast emptiness of space. And fans of Reflection, the song in question, will find much to their taste on this 4-track outing, the first of a planned series of releases, hence the name. The same Berlin-Bowie era drift and ambient, and the same alternative dance grooves that he explored, which a bunch of disenfranchised peacock punks soon evolved into a tidal wave new, romantic pop and the same dreamy qualities and cinematic sonics are all evident.
But as before, this is more than a nostalgic look back at past glories, as this is nothing if not forward thinking, it’s just that some times the best points for comparison are not the most recent. And it is this unique weave of past and present that creates Angelus’ wonderful retro-futuristic sounds.
Kicking off with What I Gave You Was Never Enough, we find the beats ramped up, the soaring crescendos even more sky-scraping and the shimmering sonic cloak that he wraps around the song even more beguiling than ever. It’s the perfect jumping off point for this first new musical venture giving a wonderful indication of the different directions that he might explore as things progress; a wonderfully teaser, calling card, statement of intent and opening salvo all rolled into one groovesome sonic slice.
And it is this blend of shimmering music and driving beats that defines Act 1, Sorrow being particularly emotive and touching but fuelled on a pretty fast paced urge and In My Lonely Room a perfect storm of delicacy and danceability.
I’m a bit late coming to the Daniel Angelus party, but I’m glad I managed to find my way in eventually. Reflection got me here and if that was a wonderful blend of many of the sounds and styles that I held dear to me in my formative years, Act 1 shows that whilst there is certainly more than a few backward glances going on, Daniel Angelus has his feet planted firmly in the present and his gaze fixed on the future.