One of New York's brightest talents closed out 2019 with an LP that evokes the touching side of rave.
In 2019, AceMo, real name Adrian Mojica, released five records that helped define the current sound of New York. While such a busy schedule can prove detrimental to less careful producers, Mojica's records have expanded the possibilities of his excellent output. When a AceMo record drops, there's a sense of anticipation about what new direction he's taking. In 2019 the Brooklyn-based producer experimented with jungle, house and electro, followed by compelling pivots towards acid and rave. His latest jaunt brings the best elements of last year's productions into a spectral, rave-ready album called Existential.
This is a rave album, but it's not going to leave your ears ringing. It's smooth and elegantly paced, thrusting you between trance melodies and whopping basslines. Fluttering arpeggios that recall Caterina Barbieri's euphoric synth experiments open tracks like "Track 2 Recording 11," and return in the decaying, submerged synths of "Rave Angel." The album's zenith floats at the midpoint of "Life Takes You," where a squelchy bassline ascends into a high-frequency synth that could cut through flimsy headphones.
The closing seconds of "Message To The Future (Waterfalls)" offer some repose, drifting with a languid interlude that's so sparse it's startling. Then there are gliding tracks like "Man From Water Pt. 2," "Existential" and "Love Dimensions," which, like Drexciya, sound distant and muted, as though you're hearing everything underwater. As Mojica moves on from the beloved house sound he perked ears with at the beginning of 2019, he's showing a clear ability to switch between genres. While some sections of Existential sock you like a punch, there are moments that evoke euphoria and the innocent daze of a perfect rave. At his best, Mojica captures the peaks and troughs of those nights.