One of the releases I’ve been most anticipating this year is here, Lauren Bousfield’s Locked Into Phantasy, actually released in 2012. I expected it to come with the name Nero’s Day At Disneyland, thus the delay. Peculiarly former Mr. Brock Bousfield of Nero’s Day At Disneyland seems to have, err. found something within and is now Lauren Bousfield.
Taking away that Lauren is a multisex name, Locked Into Phantasy still sounds very feminine. It also sounds more “artistic” than Bousfields’ previous releases and features a lot of female vocals. Last.fm user CupOfSquirrels put it best in last.fm “it (Nero’s Day At Disneyland) ultimately felt like a guy pissing about on a synth”. I usually try to stay as far as possible from Urolagnia, but I personally loved the way Nero’s Day At Disneyland “pisses about on a synth”.
Bousfield has moved on to a logical direction and further lessened the breakcore elements on this album. “Locked Into Phantasy” is mainly just odd electronic indie pop. Melodies are similar to old releases of Nero, but where is the beat! I do not feel the kick I get from Nero’s Day at Disneyland, lots of the fun is missing, even the slight melancholia is often lackluster. The release feels more plastic. I reckon it is still alright, if you happen to like indie pop. I usually don’t.
Putting my listen count above 10 I finally grasped the wood from the trees. Most tracks have about half of material that I like and half that I do not, which takes the mat under the whole track. Good example being Pulling Down Never. The intro vocals take badly on my nerves, then all the sudden we get a mindblowing chorus. It develops to a bridge, that seems to lack a bit of beat but is still solid. Then back to nervewrenching wailing. Sum up: fucking annoying verse; all the rest great.
The record is definitely not without goodness. The title track is just wonderful; and it does sound exactly like Nero’s Day at Disneyland. Also thumbs up also to Seraphim Sliding Backwards that really is a simple track with some melodic goodness. Still took over 5 times to open up for me. It contains only mildly annoying elements.
I would enjoy this release a lot more without the vocals. It is a similar situation than with Nero’s Day At Disneyland’s first album “Attention Shoppers”. It contains mostly terrible vocals but its overall craziness makes the bad vocals up a lot better than the artistic tinge on “Locked Into Phantasy”.
I hope 10 years from now this EP is thought as a misstep or an experiment which wasn’t complete yet, but helped to fruition a new style for Bousfield. I appreciate that it was released under a different pseudonym, the pieces are very familiar, but they form a new sound.
The artist shared a mediafire link to freely download the release on his facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/laurenbousfieldanyever/posts/348796375218823
If you feel like paying it is also available in bandcamp for rather cheap 7$ price: http://laurenbousfieldanyev3r.bandcamp.com/album/locked-into-phantasy
I would recommend that you rather grab his earlier release, one of my all time electronic music favourites, 7 $ is a steal: http://laurenbousfieldanyev3r.bandcamp.com/album/from-rotting-fantasylands
1. The Ropes Our Nights Were Laid Across, Pulled Taut
Good intro, its already evident that the percussions are in a smaller role than with Nero. Still solid.
2. Seraphim Sliding Backwards
I do not understand how it took me over 5 listens to realize it is a great track. The female/child vocals are a lot less annoying here than in other tracks. The 0.31 starting melody is one of the top points of the album.
3. Pulling Down Never
Here the downfall begins, the intro vocals take on my nerves then all the sudden we get a mindblowing chorus bridge, that seems to lack a bit of beat but still solid. Then back to nervewrenching wailing. Sum up: fucking annoying verse; all the rest great.
4. That Was Everything That I Owned
Glad you do not own it anymore, now kill it before it rises. I am glad that the abomination that laments in the intro does not resurface and the vocals develop near the best that this album has. Still, they are sub-par, and the track balances on the edge of skippable. Piano melody is unarguably good.
5. Locked Into Phantasy
Among the very best Bousfield tracks of all time. Only Lauren Bousfield track I plan to regularly play to my friends (among with big bunch of Nero’s tracks). Probably Bousfield’s most accessible and catchy track together with “Child Protective Service Theme Song”.
6. A Tiny Streak Of Daylight (with Judy Balmin)
Only track I skip instantly. Makes me want to murder hipsters.
7. Two Swans Duct Taped To The Side Of The Coke Machine
First 40 seconds promises we may have a great one coming up, then on comes this backwards childvoice. I can’t stand it.
8. Blown Blooms
Extremely memorable intro, alright bridge. Then another wailing chorus; unfortunately this disappointing turn of events is continued furthermore on a large portion of the track. The glitchy piano outro would surely be lovely if my mind wasn’t still dampened by the chorus.