ERAS' upcoming release Portals exists in a unique space giving equal reverence to both the DIY noise scene of The Smell and the leftfield hip-hop beats of the Low End Theory/Brainfeeder scene. The LA-based producer already has plenty of acclaim bubbling underground with a few well-received limited releases to his name and pumping out dark, trance-inducing remixes for artists like Death Grips and Chelsea Wolfe. With his latest Portals, ERAS seems primed for a wider audience.
Almost as if it was a double EP, ERAS embraces the vinyl format with a dualistic approach to the record as if it were two sides of a coin. In a striking new direction, Portals' first side explores new territory for ERAS with lush textures, warm pads, and agile celestial synth melodies all pushed to the forefront. The fingerprints of his previous work are there with an underlying tension and mystery, but it treads along into familiar territory as well with a pastoral, futuristic hymn quality recalling Boards of Canada and/or M83 more so than the more punk, beat induced Throbbing Gristle-isms we've heard from him in the past.
From the first few seconds of the flipside's opener "Oath", the howling drones of sacred musics and tribal war drums clearly signal a more sinister intent for the second side of Portals. Also surprising, the foreboding distorted glitch atmospheres of "Coma" give way to a steady beat wrapped in dark, warped R&B vibes. As if the b-side has taken you to the dark corridors in an underworld of sound, it is consistent in tone and restraint but also full of interesting juxtapositions whether it's layering expansive shoegaze over meticulously edited breakbeats or power electronics held together by subtle chord arrangements.
With the nature of the dualistic release, it would be inappropriate to assign any sort of genre to the music on Portals but fans of the classic Warp catalog, Editions Mego releases, even the new generation of witchier dark electronics will find a lot to like in ERAS' latest.
TNR001 | Unearthed