Like a lot of electronic artists who came before him, Fuzzy Logic has futuristic themes encoded deep within his DNA. Guerilla Monsoon [sic], like its predecessor, has him rearranging familiar elements according to his own idiosyncratic vision. Those elements haven’t changed much since Money Talks; he is still preoccupied with synth bacchanalia and hectic reverb. But unlike Money Talks, which was mostly dance-centric, brimming with charm and honesty, his newest venture is more craft-focused with contemplative constructions and deconstructions.
Fuzzy Logic alias Arfaz Kagalwala recorded the EP during the famously intense Mumbai monsoons — a romantic or depressing phenomenon depending on whom you ask. His description of the mood of the EP is similarly dichotomic: “The conflicting need to get somewhere despite the odds, or just sit back and enjoy the moment.” Although his considerable sound-design chops are on full display here, they are marred by the fact that the entire EP feels mildly anaemic and less than memorable.
Arfaz’s foray into downtempo electronic music takes the listener on an aural journey through the outer reaches of sound. The opening track feels as though you are boarding a kind of spaceship with its course set for a solar system far away. Fans who like chill-out music with reverberating synths that seem to be in a narcotic haze will not be disappointed.
By the second track I caught myself asking, “Why am I listening to this?” I have nothing against melodically-similar, robo-tone sounds, but I usually have to take a minute to roll my eyes and ready myself for something so trite. Guerilla Monsoon suffers from a steady linearity of composition and the tracks on the album sound like fragments of ideas stretched out to song length.
There’s nothing really wrong with the record — most of it is relatively straightforward and somewhat catchy. But on most tracks the arrangements and vocals constantly fight for space amidst a sludge of rustling, crescendo-ing background noise and reverb.
Songs ranging from sparse atmospheric electronics to arrangements of moderately coherent samples make up a majority of the album. There are some impressive moments, however, like in Deluge and Fools in Paradise where Arfaz’s androgynous and slightly distorted vocals are cocooned by rhythms that bounce like colour on glass. While interesting, the compositions quickly grow clogged and sluggish.
Overall, the record has trouble building and keeping momentum. It offers worthy musical ideas, but leads nowhere. Too often the album seems to lack an organizing principle and the pace of the album really drags. It’s difficult to maintain much investment in something that simply rolls on of its own accord, like a stream, oblivious to the presence of the listener. Despite Guerilla Monsoon being a passable listen, I’m still hoping the talented musician adds some scald to his lukewarm science and makes good on the promise of his debut.
You can download Fuzzy Logic’ Guerilla Monsoon on Bandcamp.