Every week, we tell you about an album we think you need to spend time with. This week’s album is Gorgon City’s Olympia.
Every once in a while, an album will sync to the beat of your heart, and it becomes one of the soundtracks that links your present to your past. Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott of Gorgon City have long championed the timeless sound of house, and with the release of their third album Olympia, the duo uncovers a deep connection to the bare elements of house with their contemporary sound. The pair winds through the album, pressing forward with delicate stability between ensuring old listeners can hear their classic sound while exploring their own evolution as producers.
Gorgon City has always tapped artists with soulful vocals to bring a component of old-school U.K. house to their music. “You’ve Done Enough” featuring DRAMA, “Never Let Me Down” featuring Hayley May and “Freedom” featuring Josh Barry are exemplary of this, with each song honing in on the artists’ powerhouse vocals. “Freedom” particularly digs into a slow burn sound, drifting from the pair’s usual tempo and diving into a non-house beat.
Songs such as “Dreams” featuring Jem Cole and “House Arrest” featuring Sofi Tukker bring attitude to the album with thicker and deeper bass lines highlighted. Sonically stripped down to a more naked tone, Gorgon City spotlights their ability to balance vocals and musical production. Conversely, the duo also brings a heavy layer of instrumentation throughout the album. The album is one of those in which the music surrounds you, filling the empty spaces in the room with an echo of hypnotizing beats.
Olympia’s varied melodies cascade rhythmically, capturing the same atmosphere of those 2 a.m. drives, when the streets are empty and the only lights visible are the warm glows of the street lamps bouncing off the hood of the car. While the album is able to mimic this, it’s best enjoyed with someone else to dance along to its mesmerizing tracks because, ultimately, it’s an album that can narrate the highs of life’s moments.
The pair overcame the challenge of producing Olympia in entirely different countries, but the album shows no signs of suffering as each song smoothly transitions like a ripple of bubbly currents that wash along a shore in rapid succession. The 18-track album exhales a breath of sophisticated club-inspired music, delivering a collection of lively bass and synths with occasional piano chords to underscore the organic origins of the genre.