UK artist Gage follows up 2016’s ‘Mercury’ with his third and most expansive record yet, the extraordinary ’2017 STAY PARO’.
At 8 tracks long, ‘2017 STAY PARO’ blurs the lines between EP and LP, relaying a complex web of abstract ideas and radical, blistering sounds that feed into the discourse surrounding post-Brexit realities in the UK. Although not overtly political, the project is certainly influenced by the subject of disillusionment; “I’ve been continually let down and frustrated by the world on a micro and macro scale over the last couple of years”, Gage explains.
The eerie, scorched textures and crushing atmospherics on opener ‘TBT/Flashback’ set the tone for a record that consequently explores these disappointments with stark idiosyncrasy. The sharp chills of ‘Deps’, the bleak, industrial clatter of ‘lil boro’ and the spiralling, hyper-trance of final track ‘Flash Pattern’ all point to how far Gage’s wide-ranging sound design has come too, having recently returned to London to work on his music full-time.
Boosted by this subtle, internal commentary on the world Gage inhabits — the fabric that ultimately ties the record together — ‘2017 STAY PARO’ revels in this rebelliousness, but also its tender moments. Tyler Ritchie, whom Gage credits as a massive influence on the record, plays out dreamy piano melodies on ‘Tyler’s Interlude’ for example— a rare, but welcome glimmer of hope that Gage is more than happy to offer up. “There’s definitely more pleasantries on this than on ‘Mercury’ for sure”, he enthuses.
Now in the midst of prepping his live setup, as well as working on new solo and collaborative music following recent high-profile remixes for Kelela and Abra, ‘2017 STAY PARO’ is the best yet from Gage — one of UK club music’s most creative and conscientious minds.