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Album Review

Sweet Trip's second full-length, Velocity : Design : Comfort, is an intoxicating blend of indie pop melody, shoegaze-style sonic overload, and electronic drum'n'bliss. A dense and sprawling record, each song is layered with skittering, glitchy drumbeats, distorted and broken sounding synths, hazy shoegaze guitars, and the blissful vocals of Valerie Reyes. Main Sweet Tripper Roberto Burgos has crafted a record that is overflowing with small details and sonic surprises that make each song a delight and add up to push the record into minor classic status. It may sound like empty hyperbole or press pack tomfoolery, but at its best, Sweet Trip truly sounds like what one might assume Kevin Shields would sound like today if he could ever manage to get his act together. Their sound is woozy, dreamy, deeply emotional, and extremely unpredictable. Songs like the epic "Velocity" or "International" are so packed to the brim with sound and adventure that every listen will leave you shaking your head at the sheer beauty and sonic achievement involved. Some of the other tracks that will have you jumping up and down with happiness are the glitchy "Dsco," a track New Order in its prime would have killed for, pulsating with overdriven synths and Burgos and Reyes' angelic vocals, "Dedication," a careening blast of noisy drums and breathtaking melody, and the simply stunning "To All the Dancers in the World, a Round Form of Fantasy," which stretches sound in all sorts of wonderful ways and is actually the most MBV-sounding track on the album. Most likely this record will disappear from view without a trace, but it really shouldn't. It should be at the forefront of the charge being led by bands like Manitoba, Four Tet, and Dntel, which make very forward-thinking records that confound expectations and don't leave the past (i.e., melody and songcraft) behind. Simply put, Velocity : Design : Comfort is one of the most interesting and best records of 2003; you really should check it out.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Comprised mostly of a man and his machines, San Francisco's Sweet Trip is the genius of Roberto Burgos. Featuring shoegazey beats and electronic experimentation, the vocals of Valerie Reyes add to the band's dynamic allure. Having immigrated from Panama as a young boy, Burgos brought a worldly perspective to electronic music from the band's humble beginnings. Along with Reyes' Filipino heritage and original bassist Viet Le's Vietnamese bloodline, the band's global perspective may have inspired the...
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velocity : design : comfort., Sweet Trip
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