Monday, February 24th, 2020

Love Regenerator – Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait)

Acceptable in the ’90s…


Thomas Inskeep: It’s as if Calvin Harris found an “acid house” preset on a keyboard; this isn’t just soulless, it sounds bloodless. Stay in your lane, mate.

Alfred Soto: Resisting that Poppy Bush Interzone-era house drum break and keyboard pattern taxed my abilities. The absence of a vocal helped.

Will Adams: A sudden pivot into ’90s techno/breaks/rave is the most interesting thing Calvin Harris has done in nearly a decade. The pseudonym suggests this is just a lark, but after the burst of the EDM bubble which resulted in a smattering of electronic genres vying for Top 40 status, I’d welcome a full rogues’ gallery of dance music genres. Judging from this, Harris seems more than suited to the task.

Ryo Miyauchi: “Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait)” remains faithful to its inspiration, checking off all the boxes of acid house from squiggly bass lines, anonymous diva vocals to the piano breakdown. Had this been a Calvin Harris release from five years ago, it would’ve seemed too intentional of a corrective to grab critic cred after the waning days of festival EDM. But his post-Funk Wav Bounces stuff, and especially his recent takes on UKG, have done very well to convince me to re-consider his relationship with pop and dance, and in turn let Love Renegerator come across as a rather sincere homage to classic acid. It also helps that he’s on trend with other techno folk from all tiers, borrowing jungle, trance, gabber and such almost wholesale during the past few years.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s as clear from his recent interview with Annie Mac as so many of his public pronouncements since 2007 that Calvin Harris/Adam Wiles has always been fixed on the dual issues of making the music that he wants to make and perceptions of him as an artist and person. With that said, it’s surprising he hasn’t launched a side project sooner. He talks with restless passion about Love Regenerator, and it does sound like that’s transferred into the music. “Hypnagogic” may be straight-up homage, but it’s by no means rote; rather a fidgeting catharsis or renewal, whichever it may be. He’s unbound and unbidden, and now it’s surely only a matter of time before Stouffer re-emerges.

Oliver Maier: Harris’s turn towards breakbeat-laden techno hilariously scans like the EDM producer equivalent of a pop star offering an acoustic ballad (or this) for rEaL mUsIc cred. Not that I doubt its sincerity, but “Hypnagogic” is the sort of track that gets so caught up in geeky enthusiasm for its forebears that it forgets to convey anything original. Meticulous and competent enough that its hard not to enjoy. Harder to imagine going back to it.

Brad Shoup: The vocals are impatient, maybe even angry. The has are impressively mirthless. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing hypnagogic about this break-ridden acid tech house monster, just a ton of nostalgic textures rolling and tumbling about.

Kylo Nocom: Can I just post the Scarlett Johansson Marriage Story GIF and be done with it? The full cut ironically requires a bit of patience, but those keys are all this song’s got.

Tim de Reuse: I am beyond excited for millionaire EDM partyboys to branch out of big-room nonsense and start taking all their cues from the Hackers soundtrack.

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