Smoky house and techno inspired by radio listening.
The exact impact of radio on Fog FM is debatable, but there's a cosy, intimate atmosphere that calls to mind the often private experience of radio listening. The mood has a smoky, internal quality geared towards eyes-closed reverie. This is definitely music crafted for the club, but it's also pointedly deep, recalling the kind of rich, immersive techno explored in recent years by the likes of HVL.
Despite its drowsy atmosphere, it's also not dance music lacking in detail. There are shifts and surprises in the arrangement of "Benefit," which pivots around a gnarly set of clangs geared towards peak time before swerving towards a more delicate headspace with the introduction of a beaming pad line. Deft use of reverb and low end keeps things dubby—a subtle but significant aspect of what makes this album easy to sink into.
Tracks like "Lucy's" and "Unhygenix" are wonderfully executed, peppered with thoughtful detail, warm and easy on the ears. But they work better as a background mood-setter rather than an intensive listening experience. This is deep house and techno after all—a sound we've not been short of for the past 30 years or so. That said, Naples' particular touch and his conceptual fog prevail. Fog FM is a pleasure to drift in.
The melodic accents of "I'll Follow You" have just the right amount of emotive pull, while the exaggerated smudges and scuffs on "Aftermath AM"s core ingredients bring the album to a satisfying close. But "Purple Iris" is probably the track that will get the most airplay, a taut, wigged-out pulser with lots of modulating lines and spongy textures.
On Fog FM, Naples packs in the detail—the crafty little edits, the snaking percussive lines, the ranging FX sweeps—without things becoming too cluttered. He crafts bold melodies without risking bombast. But his biggest success here is maintaining an atmosphere without becoming monotonous. It seems he achieved the concept he set out for: Fog FM feels like tuning in to a late-night broadcast from the unknown, shutting out the outside world and letting clouds of dry ice creep around you.