Mic Capes’ “Concrete Dreams” mixtape is one of our 11 favorite Portland releases of 2016. The emcee’s sophomore effort “rewards attentive listeners with subtle, but pointed, wordplay and never lets up.”
Wave Collector is the local experimental electronic project of Neal Wright, whose debut full length, Catalog of Stolen Words, came out early this month. Wright is that dude who walks around with a recording device, taking inspiration from any kind of sound that piques his ears. Whether it be a bag of chips crackling under someone’s hands, a conversation he’s engaged in, or a simple breeze between the trees, his album truly is an archive of everyday noises.
What makes this album impressive though, is how he finds the rhythm in that one captured detail, creates a melody, and transforms it into a song. He turns his samples into downtempo progressions that flow as natural and easy as breathing. As the album itself progresses, a search for something more spiritual takes over. Songs like “The Mouse Shaman,” “Sacred Struggle” and “Divine Calculation” become almost ritualistic as their melodies whistle, click and chime.
On first listen, it’s easy to make comparisons to artists like Gold Panda, Chrome Sparks and Boards of Canada. But a song like “Ice Enchantment” resembles the latest work from Moderat, while the spiritual nature of the album parallels work by The Human Experience. Wave Collector and Catalog of Stolen Words play (and play well) on the idea that good art transforms the everyday experience and how one single moment can create a rippling impact. »
– Gina Pieracci