Expensive Looks – Dark Matters

written by: January 17, 2012
Release Date: January 17th, 2012


Electronic music can be everything and nothing at the same time. A continuing repetition of samples and beats can create an entire album, allowing each tune to flow into the next. In some cases, it is meant to create a feeling or atmosphere rather than express emotions. Music created with evocative beats and textures engulf anyone who listens transporting them directly into the DJ’s whimsical mind.

New York DJ Alec Feld goes under the moniker Expensive Looks to create his own world of hypnotic bliss and electro bedroom-pop in his debut LP Dark Matters. By blending Chicago house, Motown, disco and ‘90s pop, Feld is able to sustain a modernized composition of electronic at its finest and worst.

Dark Matters is full of sunny samples and airy sequencing creating a non-existent escape from reality. Feld has a dark demeanor, though. It could be the heart-pounding bass in songs like “Nightfalls” or the ghostly background vocals in “Be My Own.” Either way, the contrasting sounds are an underlying theme within a constant state of confusion.

In opening track “Your Dreams are Week,” Feld breaks through with a hazy guitar riff and pounding percussion. Quick moving house beats are smothered across a bright canvas as Dark Matters releases into a psychedelic wave. Merging remnants of shoe gaze into the mix, “Your Dreams are Week” gracefully dissipates into “Nothing More.”

The most pop-sensible of them all, “Nothing More” twinkles with atmospheric space and love-struck vocals before quickly melting itself into “Felt Up.” His sometimes too short tunes flow with ease into the next as if each song is just a chapter in his short-winded story. Maxing out at mere 33-minutes, Feld strays from the lengthy tunes commonly seen in the electronic world with only three songs over four minutes.

Moderately dance-able songs like “Tracewave” and “Sea/Air” embody tendencies seen in early house music with distorted samples of brass-like instruments and quickly paced drum lines.

Ending his journey is “Vanishers.” Feld slowly builds up with fuzzed vocals and synthetic loops in an effervescent world of youth. His steady crawl to the top is like awaiting a long coming sunrise through the cloud break. Feld uses chirping noises resembling birds, but there is nothing organic about the album. Even his voice is heavily processed, but that’s the dark beauty that Expensive Looks creates his path upon.

Dark Matters is a world of its own. Throw on a pair of headphones because this swift moving album is best as a daily soundtrack. While the bass thuds through the brain and the airy pysch opens up into a spacious soundscape, any surrounding noise just doesn’t seem necessary.

Expensive LooksDark Matters tracklist:

  1. “Your Dreams are Week”
  2. “Nothing More”
  3. “Felt Up”
  4. “Nightfalls”
  5. “Tracewave”
  6. “Be My Own”
  7. “Sea/Air”
  8. “Moving Visions”
  9. “Vanishers”