Several Shades Of The Same Color further rounds off the edges. Soft-hued electro and sunken house tracks stretch out for long enough that hints of breaks and acid sneak in. There are also a few downtempo and beatless cuts. Gossamer melodies skirt atop the surface of most tracks, playing off the brushed chrome framework and tender pads below. By swapping rawness for finesse, Ravitz's ideas come across more clearly.
What scans at first as a wide variety of styles is in fact a limited though well-honed palette. "I Know The Face, But Not The Name" begins with orchestral flourish, gesturing towards something entirely new for Ravitz, before a zippy drum pattern springs forth, carrying the tune along a progression that weaves new textures in and out, cresting in intensity as it concludes. It's emblematic of the strongest cuts on Several Shades Of The Same Color: polished, well-structured and expansive without being excessive.
There are some diversions from that formula. "The Words Are Just Sounds" and "Étant Donnés" are dark mood exercises, with rasping voices escaping through the gaps left by searching synth leads. "Shiba Inu Dub" sets a swung, rattling groove over kicks that bump surprisingly hard, showing that not all Ravitz's bite has been muzzled.
One of the album's finest tracks, "Alternate Mindset," is taut machine funk with rolling claps that stack up atop one another. It stands out in part because it breaks from the LP's linear sequencing. The tracks themselves don't feel flabby, but the weight begins to add up as the record pushes on into its second hour. (Only two of the album's 15 songs—"Deku Tree" and "German Friendship"—clock in below the five-minute mark.) For all the enjoyable music on Several Shades Of The Same Color, its length can drag it down. But it's a forgivable flaw, an extension of the eager mind of an increasingly accomplished producer.
Mon / 7 Aug 2017
01. I Know The Face, But Not The Name
02. Liminal States
03. Speed Wagon Night Bride
04. The Words Are Just Sounds
05. It Gets Worse At Night
06. Deku Tree
07. The Electric Eye Is Upon Me
08. Étant Donnés
09. Thoughts Of You
10. Shiba Inu Dub
11. You Never Listen
12. Feel Your Body
13. German Friendship
14. Alternate Mindset
15. Upper Peninsula feat. Terekke